Cotswold Homes Cotswold-Homes.com The Property & Lifestyle Magazine for the North Cotswolds
WINTER Edition 2012
£2.50 where sold
Mike Tindall Rugby star talks coaching
PUTTING ON PANTO
Theatre Chipping Norton’s ‘Cinderella’
Dressage Gold Medallist Laura Bechtolsheimer on Olympic legacy
Surviving the X-Factor With ‘X-Finalist’ Kitty Brucknell
M.C. Beaton ‘Agatha Raisin’ Author’s twenty years of mysteries
The Regal Rises
Restoring a Deco Cinema the Right Way
A selection of beautiful cotswold homes
Your Cotswold Christmas
Where to go & What to do
Cotswold Homes Magazine CONTENTS Cotswold Homes Giveaway Your chance to win fabulous prizes
The Immortality of Sherlock Holmes How his creator failed to kill him off
Cinderella Comes to Town Behind the scenes at Chipping Norton theatre
Gloucestershire’s Ghosts Spooky tales and ghoulish goings-on
Kitty Brucknell’s Inside Story 12 Kitty gives X-Factor finalists some timely advice
Gorgeous Gardens with Annie Pearce Transform your wilderness
Mike Tindall’s New Beginnings We discuss the rugby star’s new role at Gloucester Rugby
Get Your Christmas Skates On! Fosseway Garden Centre’s Christmas treat
The Regal Rises Evesham’s jewel of a cinema
How to spend a Cotswold Christmas Wonderful ways to celebrate the season
Laura Bechtolsheimer’s Olympic glory 28 An outstanding result for Cotswold horsewoman
Resurrecting the Mystery Plays 86 Gloucester Cathedral revives an ancient tradition
The Cotswold Diary of an Equestrian Lady With Master of the Hounds, Nigel Peel
Christmas Blessings from Veronica James A message of peace and joy
Inside the Sculptor’s Studio The fascinating work of James Butler
What the Gamekeeper Saw 89 Beautiful wildlife photography from Adam Tatlow
Laura Fern, Children’s Illustrator The delights of drawing for a living
Remembering RAF Moreton-in-Marsh What happened here in wartime?
Local artist Lindy Alfrey We present a shortlisted portrait
Eat Organic Simon Weaver talks cheese
Hot Property - Ask The Experts Pertinent questions for our property panel
Christmas crackers Richard Chamberlain’s festive platter
Hot Property - The Cotswold Market A hand-picked selection of beautiful homes
On Course for Christmas Local chefs share their favourite recipes
Trevor Biggs - Dental Health The dangers of gum disease on general health
Events Calendar for the Festive Season What to do, where to go, what to see?
Tim Spittle’s Very Busy Year Bootcamps, Romance and more!
Privilege Card Offers Bag a bargain and trade local!
The Anniversary of Agatha Raisin A conversation with author MC Beaton
Cotswold Homes Directory of Independent Businesses
Editor’s WELCOME Welcome to our Christmas 2012 edition of Cotswold Homes. Bigger than ever, packed with articles about all that is best in the North Cotswolds, from local success stories to suggestions for things to do and see on the run up to Christmas, our aim is to keep you entertained during this festive season! We have a behind-the-scenes peek at the Cinderella pantomime in Chipping Norton and the fabulous refurbishment of the Regal cinema in Evesham. X-Factor’s finalist, larger-than-life Kitty Brucknell, gives us an insight into television’s most famous singing competition and, hot on the heels of our Olympic summer celebrations, we have a chat with sporting celebrities Mike Tindall and gold medallist Laura Bechtolsheimer. Ever-popular local author M C Beaton talks about her love for Blockley and renowned sculptor James Butler tells us all about his encounters with the Queen. We also have a section devoted to lovely Cotswold properties with advice from local experts on a host of topics, from irritating neighbours to the implications of new planning rules on our local environment. And best for bargain hunters, a host of Privilege Card offers from local businesses. Enjoy!
Matt Dicks, Editor, Cotswold Homes Cotswold-Homes Magazine Our next edition, Spring 2013, will focus on up-coming events in the North Cotswolds, including what to do in the Easter holidays and how to make the most of our wonderful countryside during this beautiful season. Copy deadline for proof-ready advertisements is Friday 18th January, 2013. Membership of the Cotswold Homes Directory gives exclusive access to discounted advertising rates and the Privilege Card scheme. For marketing and advertisement rates, contact Collette Fairweather; for editorial content, contact Matt Dicks. 01608 653899. Design team: www.wearealias.com Cotswold-Homes.com The Property & Lifestyle Magazine for the North Cotswolds www.cotswold-homes.com
Cotswold Homes Magazine
Cotswold Homes the most rapidly growing free magazine in the North Cotswolds! Our magazine Cotswold Homes is a showcase for all that is wonderful about living in and visiting the North Cotswolds, particularly celebrating and championing the wealth of small, independent businesses based in and serving our community. Now, over 9,000 copies are delivered freely to homes and businesses in the North Cotswolds, informing and entertaining both residents and visitors. Featuring beautifully designed articles, excellent Privilege Card offers, a property showcase, business insights and events listings, it’s the essential North Cotswold companion. Best of all, it’s absolutely free. The magazine is available from many local businesses, branches of HARRISON & HARDIE Fine & Country estate agents and at local stations on the Worcester to Paddington train line, in addition to most meeting places, coffee houses, restaurants and local hotels.
Our website You can read an online version of our magazine at www.cotswold-homes.com, a portal to all kinds of information about the North Cotswolds – with detailed information about a host of services, shops and amenities, including properties for sale and to rent in the local area. The website attracts thousands of unique and returning visitors each month. With an extensive, easy to use local business directory, it equips visitors and residents with everything they need to know about the Cotswolds, including all our Privilege Card offers and a regularly updated Cotswold events calendar. Why not pay us a visit?
Our Privilege Card Get great deals and discounts with Cotswold businesses using our FREE Privilege Card! The Cotswold Homes Privilege Card gives you access to all kinds of offers – from shopping to beauty to cleaning and legal services. New offers are emailed to our database of card-holders once a month and displayed in each edition of the magazine. Haven’t got a card? Just email your address to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll send you one through the post, or pop into Harrison & Hardie estate agents (in Bourton-on-the-Water, Stow-on-theWold and Moreton-in-Marsh) to pick one up!
Our Advertisers We take pride in supporting only independent businesses that are based in and/or serve our local community. Not only do we provide mini-websites, directory listings, graphic design services and magazine advertising for our businesses, we also run exclusive Privilege Card offers that are emailed out to our database of thousands of Cotswold residents and visitors. We deliver highly affordable advertising solutions on a multi-media platform including Facebook and Twitter to provide maximum exposure across the community – both online and in 9,000 print copies per magazine issue.
Talk to us If you have a local business and would like to find out what we can do for you, call our Accounts team on 01608 653 899 or email email@example.com
like us on facebook for more chances to win! www.facebook.com/cotswoldhomespage 4
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Cotswold Homes Competition
Cotswold Homes Winter Issue Giveaway Another issue, another great round of prizes for our readers! Bring a little cheer to your winter season with VIP family tickets to the latest of The Theatre Chipping Norton’s famous Christmas pantomimes, the classic rags-to-riches story of Cinderella. You can also watch an electrifying game at Gloucester Rugby Club in the New Year with two free Silver Tickets, or even hone your aim with an exclusive private lesson at Prescott Shooting. As ever, we’ve made it easy for you to enter. See below for full prize details! WIN 2 x Silver Tickets in the Mira Showers Stand and see Gloucester Rugby take on Mont-de-Marsan in the Amlin Challenge Cup on Saturday 19th January 2013 kick off 3 pm,* Live at Kingsholm! *Fixture date and kick off time subject to change. Please visit www.gloucesterrugby. co.uk for up to date fixture information.
WIN VIP TICKETS for the Opening Night of this year’s pantomime Cinderella, Thursday 22nd November 7.30pm (for a family of up to five).
TO ENTER: Either ‘Like’ our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cotswoldhomespage or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Gloucester Rugby’ in the subject field. Don’t forget to include your name, email and telephone number so we can contact you in case you win! Entries must be received by 12.00pm Monday 17th December when the winner will be drawn.
Take full advantage of expert knowledge and the use of top class facilities including the highest high tower in Gloucestershire!With the Prescott Shooting School located in a beautiful mature woodland setting with over 25 different targets available throughout the grounds, this is an opportunity not to be missed! The lesson includes 100 Cartridges & Clays and is worth £130. Gun hire and all safety equipment included if needed.
Included in this wonderful evening of family entertainment will be a goody bag with a souvenir programme, badges and vouchers for drinks and ice creams – plus a chance to meet the Director of the show John Terry! TO ENTER: Simply email email@example.com or message us on www.facebook. com/cotswoldhomespage with the answer to the question: In which watery city does this year’s production of Cinderella take place? (Hint: Read the article on pages 8-9 or visit www. chippingnortontheatre.co.uk to discover the answer!) Don’t forget to include your name, email and telephone number so we can contact you if you win! Entries must be received by 12.00pm Wednesday 14th November 2012 when the winner will be drawn. Good luck! Terms & Conditions
Entry to the competition is open to all except the employees (and their families) of Cotswold Homes or Harrison & Hardie. Winners will be drawn at random and notified via Facebook, by e-mail or by phone and may be posted on our website. No alternative prize or cash substitute is available for any of the prizes. In the event of a winner being unable to accept their prize then another winner will be drawn. This giveaway is open to residents of the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland aged 18 years or over, except employees of Cotswold Homes Magazine, their families, agents or anyone else professionally associated with the giveaway. It is a condition of entry that all rules are accepted as final and that
WIN a one hour private one to one lesson at Prescott Shooting School with owner and top shot Daniel Martin.
TO ENTER: Either ‘Like’ our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cotswoldhomespage or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Prescott Shooting’ in the subject field. Don’t forget to include your name, email and telephone number so we can contact you in case you win! Entries must be received by 12.00pm Monday 17th December when the winner will be drawn. the competitor agrees to abide by these rules. The decision of the judges is final and no correspondence will be entered into. Entries must be submitted via the Facebook ‘Like’ system or emailed to email@example.com (or as specified in entry terms of a specific prize) and entry is restricted to one per person. Late, illegible, incomplete, defaced or corrupt entries or entries sent through agencies and third parties will not be accepted. No responsibility can be held for lost entries and proof of dispatch will not be accepted as proof of receipt. The winner will be drawn at random from all entries received by the closing date and notified via Facebook message or contact details supplied. The winner will be contacted within seven days of the closing date of the prize draw. Should the Promoter be unable to contact the winner
or should the winner be unable to accept the prize, the Promoter reserves the right to award the prize to an alternative winner, drawn in accordance with these terms and conditions. The prize is described as available on the date of publication and all prizes are subject to the terms and conditions of the supplier. The prizes do not include travel insurance, food and drink, personal expenditure, or incidental costs, other than where mentioned. All elements of the prize are non transferable and there are no cash alternatives. The winner may be required to take part in publicity. Events may occur that render the prize draw itself or the awarding of the prize impossible due to reasons beyond the control of the Promoter and accordingly the Promoter may at its absolute discretion vary or amend the promotion and the entrant agrees that no liability shall attach to the Promoter as a result thereof.
like us on facebook for more chances to win! www.facebook.com/cotswoldhomespage www.cotswold-homes.com
Thinking Pink with Annie Delaney – Why Hyde Barn has become the new Must-Have for Cotswold Brides! Only last year, The Fosse Manor Hotel’s new wedding and events venue, Hyde Barn, was still an empty field - brides-to-be were greeted by wedding co-ordinator Annie Delaney with wellington boots, a dose of imagination and a virtual tour. By the date of the official launch party in June this year, however, Annie had already secured 75 bookings and barely three weeks later, this had risen to 100 bookings. The astonishing success, Annie confesses, has taken her slightly by surprise - the barn is on the top of every bride’s wish list for a Cotswold wedding next year, it seems. “We already have weddings in the diary for most weekends in high season during 2013,” says Annie. “In the last six months we have also hosted other lovely events including two auctions for Tayler & Fletcher, a big retirement party for a local solicitor and a fabulous 40th birthday celebration with a pig roast and a disco for 150 guests, to mention just a few. The barn clearly manages to capture exactly what people need and want on their big day, whatever the occasion. Of course, we designed the space bespoke and so one hopes that it will fit the bill but until the doors open, you can never be entirely sure. It is so pleasing to have got everything just right.” The venue is, indeed, very lovely – a beautiful, traditional, light and airy barn decorated in neutral colours to provide a tasteful, comfortable, warm and inviting interior - but just as vital to the success of the concept is, doubtlessly, Annie herself. Warm, empathetic and approachable, she engages very quickly, creating a bond of trust and confidence that she will deliver the perfect occasion, exactly as 6
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each couple have envisaged it. Persuading the grooms to share in the excitement of the build-up is part of her magic touch. “I tell the men they have to think pink,” Annie laughs. By July, marketing and social media expert Laura Harvey had been brought on board to help Annie, so great the success of the venture – since when, Laura has proved a perfect foil for Annie’s talents. Together they make a formidable team, sharing a palpable love for their job, both confessing to late nights and days off spent working rather than resting. “To know that we have managed not just to meet expectations but to exceed them, with most of our bookings now coming from recommendation, is very motivating and incredibly rewarding,” says Laura. To speak to Annie or Laura and to arrange an appointment to view the barn, simply telephone 01451 833 556 or visit the website www.hydebarn.co.uk
“To know that we have managed not just to meet expectations but to exceed them, with most of our bookings now coming from recommendation, is very motivating and incredibly rewarding...”
The Theatre Chipping Norton
at The Theatre Chipping Norton
Chipping Norton’s 40th Christmas Pantomime is something to celebrate – a classic tale with a Venetian twist. ‘We’ve saved Cinderella especially for this year,’ says Chipping Norton Theatre’s Stephen Birch. ‘We last performed it at the turn of the millennium.’ Perhaps the definitive panto tale, it’s the perfect choice for a very special anniversary – the 40th annual performance of the theatre’s acclaimed Christmas pantomimes. Loud and fun, pantos may seem spontaneous, even chaotic - but in fact they’re as carefully controlled as any other production (‘We had a custard pie fight last year…the amount of choreography that went into it was unreal’). By the end of this article, we hope readers will know a little bit more about putting on a world-class pantomime. ‘Here at the theatre, we do Boy, Girl, Boy, Girl,’ says Stephen. That’s shorthand for having a boisterous, boyish show followed by a more refined, feminine production. Last year was Ali Baba, so this year is Cinderella. ‘It seems like no time at all since we were in hot, dusty Arabia – and now we’re exchanging the heat and bustle of Baghdad for something altogether cooler and much, much wetter. This year Cinderella will be arriving at the ball via the waterways of the world’s most romantic city – Venice!’ Unlike Ali Baba, Cinderella is not bound by location, and Venice fits the story like Cinders fits her own glass slipper. Inspired by the ancient lagoon city’s masques and extravagant costumed balls, the production team began the project by assembling photographs and images, generating ideas. ‘We were really excited by the look of distressed architecture, opulence, old money.’ Venice means new takes on some familiar characters, too – this time round, for instance, Buttons is a gondolier. 8
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The next step was to commission the writer. Seasoned panto writer and theatre director Ben Crocker was chosen for this year’s production. Casting itself occurs around the middle of the year. ‘This is where it really moves up a notch,’ Stephen laughs. ‘We recruit and use professional actors, so we advertise on the Equity website. This year we had 1,400 applicants.’ The next order was to whittle this extraordinary number down to 200. For this, they hire out a studio in London for a week to hold two rounds of auditions. ‘It’s really important to get matches and chemistry right. For instance, the Ugly Sisters – Tutti and Frutti – they have to work really well together.’ Some of the actors have played at Chipping Norton before – Shaun Hennessey (aka Frutti) was King Rat in Dick Whittington, and Matt Pinches (aka Buttons the Gondolier) was previously the French Talking Poodle in Beauty and the Beast.
“To give some idea of the success and popularity of the theatre’s Christmas pantomimes, let me provide some astonishing statistics: of the 15,000 tickets available for last year’s run, 96% were sold – an incredible result.”
The Theatre Chipping Norton
TIC SEE PKETS A GE 5
“Along with throwing sweets into the audience and having a good old singalong, involving local children is one of the theatre’s three core panto traditions.”
But just as important as the players themselves are the extravagant costumes that they wear. Each character has between four and six costumes (with three layers apiece), which must be robust enough not only to survive the quick changes but the entire run of 79 performances – looking as good on their last night as they did on their first. All of the costumes are made from scratch in-house; not just the costumes for the main characters, but also the three teams of four local children who will also star in the show. Along with throwing sweets into the audience and having a good old singalong, involving local children is one of the theatre’s three core panto traditions. ‘The kids aren’t just villagers left in the corner,’ says Stephen, ‘they’re a proper part of the show. Our Director, John Terry, loves working with children – he was involved with the National Youth Theatre.’ Only after the set has been commissioned and built, the costumes have been finalised, and the music written and approved can rehearsals begin in earnest. The shows themselves will be preceded by an intensive three week rehearsal process.
To give some idea of the success and popularity of the theatre’s Christmas pantomimes, let me provide some astonishing statistics: of the 15,000 tickets available for last year’s run, 96% were sold – an incredible result. For many, going to Chipping Norton’s theatre is a part of the Christmas routine. The audience generally comes from within a 50 mile ‘catchment zone’, but some of the regulars, like the man who flies in every year from New York, come from much further afield. As a matter of fact, Stephen will shortly be meeting with an intrigued gentleman from Minneapolis: ‘Basically, I’ll be trying to explain what a pantomime is!’
Cinderella is performed at The Theatre Chipping Norton from the 20th November 2012 to the 6th January 2013. Call the Box Office on 01608 642 350 or book online at www.chippingnortontheatre.com
All the hard work starts to pay off just prior to the opening night when, according to Stephen, ‘the whole place is just magically transformed in anticipation of two hours of absolute fun and laughter. At the end of the day, the audience don’t need to know how much work actually goes into it. The theatre at Christmas is a place where, no matter what your troubles are, you can just leave them at the door and have a fantastic time.’ www.cotswold-homes.com
How to Survive the X-Factor
‘Be Humble, Humble, Humble’:
How to Survive THE
- An Insider’s Advice Can you imagine how bizarre, how gruelling it must be to be an X-Factor finalist? One moment you’re a Britney Spears tribute act: the next, you’re playing weekend live shows for a television audience of millions, wearing costumes so outlandish they’d make the Mad Hatter blush. You meet – and hug – your idol, super-celebrity Lady Gaga. Thousands of people you’ve never met publicly declare either undying love or burning hatred for you. During one performance, you’re strapped to a gigantic spinning wheel, singing all the while. For the space of a few intensive weeks, you’re all anyone can talk about. Such was the life of outspoken Cheltenham girl, Kitty Brucknell, in the 2011 series of the seemingly unstoppable contest. How on earth does an ordinary person even begin to recover from an overload of such epic proportions? With each yearly instalment of the contest, fresh thousands of hopefuls turn up to audition in various national venues – every last one of them desperate to reach the show’s feted finals. Last year the theatrical, confident Kitty was one of the few acts that actually got there – an unusual achievement, considering a voting audience that often seems to punish self-belief, favouring instead the meekness of the underdog. Along the journey, her flamboyant performances earned her some noteworthy supporters. Queen legend, Brian May, and influential celebrity blogger, Perez Hilton, were amongst those in the Kitty camp, as well as judge and Take That star, Gary Barlow. Her natural eagerness and envelope-pushing antics turned off some viewers, but many saw past the diva leanings to her powerful voice and commanding stage presence. 12
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“Things are different in the way that I now have the freedom to explore so many options - I’m finally getting my USA visa soon, and I want to spend some time in Nashville and NYC writing and recording.” Enduring the live shows is an emotional and sometimes controversial process for contestants, who must court whimsical public opinion as they perfect increasingly demanding routines. They compete knowing that their every movement will be scrutinised, with every inch of their pasts examined for scandal and intrigue. And in a year that was marked with
accusations of bullying and rigged outcomes, Kitty exited with her dignity intact and within a very respectable distance of the finishing line. With the seemingly unstoppable Saturday night phenomenon in full swing once again, we wanted to ask Kitty to share her survival tips for the next generation of young hopefuls.
How to Survive the X-Factor
Q1. What advice would you give to someone walking onto that infamous stage for their very first audition? How should candidates mentally prepare themselves? I think the one thing you have to realise is that if you aren't very careful, they can make you look a certain way, without you even realising it. People in the UK love humble underdogs - that's just how it is. So that would be the Number One thing to remember. Be really, really humble and have a normal job...Even if you’ve had a major record deal in the past, don’t mention it - it's not what people want to hear. Also, you have to walk a very fine line between standing out enough, and not standing out too much. If you are an individualistic type of performer like me, the X Factor is a bad, bad idea - you can't really deviate from the accepted norm on those types of shows. It's just not a good idea, as being heavily criticised every week by 14 million people tends to wear you down after a while. Pick a good ballad or a soul classic to sing, don't sing upbeat stuff, it doesn't really work unless you are exceptional - they want to hear your vocal skills. Also, pick something that you can make your own. First auditions really define who the contestants are. It's really hard to get away from it. Q2. How were relations between you and your fellow finalists in the house you that all shared during the live shows? Can there be friendship in a place where everyone is striving to come out on top? It was pretty cut-throat. I did make friends, but trust is always an issue; the sort of money and opportunities up for grabs [are] insane, so everyone is out for themselves. Also, whoever wins, it changes people. They might have been your friends, but they certainly don't stay like that, which is a shame. I was always nice to everyone. I never told tall tales to the press about people, I never did any sort of backstabbing. I just couldn't live with myself if I did. Sadly, that wasn't the case with other people. Q3. What sort of provision do the show’s organisers make to defend contestants against the possibility of negative media coverage, as well as the good? Well...they try to help you out, but you are basically on your own - you have to remember they are there for the show, not for you - so you really have to grow a thick skin and get smart with it all very, very quickly. I'm way too honest, I say what I think, and I had to learn to rein it in. The best advice I was given was to ‘be boring’, especially in interviews. That way nothing can affect the voting... Q4. There’s lots of talk today about the role of social media in society. What sort of experiences have you had with it during and after the show?
experience? How are things different for you now?
I experienced a lot of cyber-bullying, I have to say, I found it very hurtful. There's no way I'm coming off Twitter because I have such a strong connection with my fans, but the amount of abuse that's thrown at me, I have considered it. I think a lot of the time people do it for attention, but it's so hurtful. I've definitely cried a few times over comments that people have left me online. Q5. You have a strong identity as a singer and you definitely brought your own personality onstage. Did you get free rein to realize your ideas? Should acts try to make their own voices heard? Yes, I was very, very lucky in that respect. I got to work loads with the choreographers and creative directors to bring that side of me across on stage. It's so important to push for this, although a lot of acts are so young, having just come from school…they don't even have a clue what kind of artist they want to be. I have always been a theatrical type of performer, that's just who I am. When I was 15, I was dancing on pub tables tipping bottles of water on my head to make people take notice, and to get the crowd going. I miss those gigs somehow...it’s a fond memory. Q6. Is it difficult to adjust back to a more ‘normal' pace of life after such an intense
Not really, it's more of a relief. I have never been the ‘fame-hungry’ type - I have always just been chasing success. I wanted to take time out from the show to really work on my material, get it right, write lots and lots of songs and really perfect myself as an artist. I am so passionate about my music, that's all I care about, not being a celebrity or being in the papers half the time. I freak out when people write about me and I'm constantly telling my publicist to get things removed. Things are different in the way that I now have the freedom to explore so many options - I'm finally getting my USA visa soon, and I want to spend some time in Nashville and NYC writing and recording. I am so dedicated; [even though] I don't have Simon Cowell behind me paying my way, it doesn't matter because, at the end of the day, the artist alone is the driving force behind it all. Q7. Having shared the stage with celebrities such as Lady Gaga, what can you tell us about how to act around the stars? They are three parts water like the rest of us! Just with slightly better skin...All I remember from meeting Lady Gaga was crying loads and loads, then just being totally overwhelmed by everything...I am hopeless at being ‘cool’. I just say what I think…! Q8. Finally, what would your top tips be for making it through the X-Factor experience? Be humble, humble, humble. And be really engaging on camera, but super boring off screen (hard to get right!). Also, know what kind of artist you want to be and stick to it. Listen to your mentor, but don't be afraid to stick up for yourself! www.cotswold-homes.com
DUKE REIGNS SUPREME
DUKE REIGNS SUPREME How an unorthodox Cheltenham act beatboxed their way to Vegas in this year’s X-Factor
Duke’s time to shine came when a relaxation in the show’s usual rules means that auditionees and contestants could bring along instruments (Simon Cowell must have paid close attention to the meteoric rise of guitar-strumming Ed Sheeran). And although they do sport a guitar, they also possess a much more unusual ‘instrument’ – the ability to beatbox. Beatboxers are perhaps best described as vocal gymnasts. Using the lips, tongue and voice, these artists produce quick-fire rhythms and sound effects; a skilled beatboxer can synthesize different sounds and beats as adeptly as any drum machine. It’s a skill that might seem relatively novel to the average X-Factor viewer, but Duke has been playing to appreciative audiences in Cheltenham for around six years. Formed after Stronarch established an open mic night, Duke has been playing weekly fixtures in venues such as Thirteen Degrees and Yates. The three are also familiar faces in Ibiza, too, where they have often For the second consecutive year, an unusual Cheltenham act has emerged to take centre stage in ITV’s The X-Factor. Cutting a swathe through the usual round of Whitney impersonators, Britney wannabes and clean-shaven, twinkly eyed teens, beatboxing trio Duke (Marko Pandazis, Edward Travers and Flynn Stronach) caused a stir in their initial audition, bringing the show’s judges to their feet in a standing ovation. Take That star and returning judge, Gary Barlow, gushed praise for the unusual act: ‘Guys, I have to tell you, that was off the chart – it was incredible. Four yeses, amazing, well done.’ On his feet and clapping with gusto, Barlow looked
“The three are also familiar faces in Ibiza, too, where they have often entertained revellers. Coldplay frontman, Chris Martin, and Wayne Rooney’s wife Colleen are just two of the group’s noteworthy fans.” as radiant as an England supporter at the 1966 world cup final. Tulisa of N-Dubz fame was equally awed. ‘I didn’t know what I was looking for today until you guys came to the stage.’ High praise for Duke indeed, as street-smart Tulisa usually has her finger on the pulse. But even the older Louis Walsh – best known for managing boybands Westlife and Boyzone – recognized the band’s potential, giving the lads the all-clear to proceed to bootcamp. They sailed through that stage, too, with their restyling of Seal’s Kiss From a Rose, and were soon off to Las Vegas with Walsh, who had been selected to mentor the ‘Groups’ category. The long-serving judge suggested the Cheltenham trio could be his ‘secret weapon’ for this year.
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entertained revellers. Coldplay frontman, Chris Martin, and Wayne Rooney’s wife Colleen are just two of the group’s noteworthy fans. Now the band has significantly added to their fanbase, thanks to its success on the show. Activity is rocketing on social media platforms, bringing the act’s exceptional style to a whole new audience and re-igniting interest back at home. But it’s not just the Duke boys who benefit from wider exposure. With early viewing levels at their lowest in years, the X-Factor needs the shock of something fresh. Perhaps bored with ballads and weepy-eyed sob stories, audiences must be baited back with original and uncompromising talent, uncluttered by tears and emotional meltdowns. And on this front, Duke duly delivers.
WIN TS5 KE C E I
T EE PAG S
Mike Tindallâ€™s New Responsibilities Gloucester Rugby centre, Mike Tindall, recently confirmed he would be extending his stay with Gloucester Rugby but with added responsibility as a backs coach. Tindall spoke of his delight at remaining at Kingsholm. Season 2011/12 was Tindall's seventh in the Cherry and White of Gloucester and, without a new contract having been agreed upon, it looked increasingly as though his appearance for the Barbarians back in May would be his last at Kingsholm.
playing squad into the coaching ranks.
However, one of new Director of Rugby Nigel Davies' first actions in his role was to sit down to talk with the former England skipper and agree terms on a new role as player/backs coach.
"I obviously said all along that this was where I wanted to stay. It wasn't easy at times to get it done but Nigel (Davies) coming in was really positive for me.
It's an approach that Davies has employed at his previous club, the Scarlets, where senior players like Simon Easterbuy and Mark Jones have moved seamlessly from the
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It's obviously early days but Tindall cut a contented figure when he spoke to the media at Gloucester's training base at Hartpury College.
"You look at what he's done with the Scarlets, with a few of the guys there who are reaching the end of their playing careers, people who care deeply about the club and keeping them on board in some capacity.
“For me I still want to play so it’s going to be a hard balancing act in terms of making sure that I’ve properly prepared myself while thinking about what others are doing so that’s going to be a challenge in itself.”
"I always wanted to stay here so it's worked out perfectly for me." For the first time, Tindall won't be able to concentrate solely on his own preparations. His new status means that he now has new responsibilities but the transition is going to be managed carefully. "Nigel's been great in all fairness. It's a role that he's going to let me ease into. It's hard at the moment because I'm doing all the fitness training with the boys so I'm a little bit tired at times and then I have to do some extra stuff after work so to speak. "He's not expecting me to fly up there and start taking sessions with the boys straightaway. He's going to help and guide me and mould 18
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myself into how I want to be, getting the best out of the players and out of myself at the same time. "For me I still want to play so it's going to be a hard balancing act in terms of making sure that I've properly prepared myself while thinking about what others are doing so that's going to be a challenge in itself." One of the key things that Tindall will bring to the table is experience, a crucial commodity as Davies strives to help the young Gloucester squad realise their massive potential. "During season 2011/12, at times we saw the best of what we've got but, at other times, we saw moments where things didn't go for us and we didn't adapt.
"Hopefully what Nigel can do is continue the young players' understanding and development so that, when things aren't going right, they can make better decisions and come out on the right side of the one point games. "That's one of the biggest things for me. We know what we're capable of when we get it right, look at Toulouse last year when we beat the best team in Europe but we need to respond the right way when things go against us. "Hopefully, with Nigel's help, we'll get that balance right. But I just want us, as a team, to go out and play that Gloucester brand of rugby, entertain our loyal fans and win most of our games."
GLOUCESTER RUGBY HISTORY
Keeping History Alive with Gloucester Rugby Heritage
Founded in 1873 at the Spread Eagle Hotel, Gloucester Rugby is an old club with a long, eventful history. A total of thirty-one players lost their lives in the great wars in which England became entangled – twenty-two in the skirmishes of WWI alone. As the club continues to develop, a massive effort is being made to commemorate its legacy and to preserve and honour artefacts from its past.
“Our project set out to conserve the heritage of Gloucester Rugby for future generations to experience and enjoy, and also to enable the local community to engage with, look after and celebrate their rugby heritage.” The Gloucester Rugby Heritage project was incepted in 2007 when Kingsholm, the home of Gloucester Rugby, was being prepared for a major redevelopment. After moving the club’s records and memorabilia to Gloucester’s archives for safekeeping, club Community Manager Gary Little met with Jill Shonk, the Archives Access and Learning Team Leader, and Malcolm King, member of the Friends of Gloucestershire Archives, to discuss the possibility of a rugby heritage project. ‘[Gloucestershire Archive] was a service that at the time I was little aware of,’ says Gary, ‘but now I can say it’s a treasure trove and certainly worth a look. It’s somewhere people can find out about their family history and find out about the fantastic history of Gloucestershire.’ Managed by the county council, the archive is tasked with preserving the area’s heritage. After initial discussions, a project partnership was formed which included the Rugby Club, Gloucestershire County Council Archive, The Friends of Gloucestershire Archives, the Heritage Lottery fund and sponsor Ecclesiastical Insurance.
‘Our project set out to conserve the heritage of Gloucester Rugby for future generations to experience and enjoy, and also to enable the local community to engage with, look after and celebrate their rugby heritage. Little did we know when we began the project the impact that it would have on the local and wider community and what we could achieve.’ In the five years since that meeting, the Project has created a comprehensive and beautifully designed website, interactive displays at Kingsholm, curriculum-based learning resources and has established a network of volunteers. Perhaps the most significant achievement is the
production of a book – the first official book to be published by the club. Telling the story of the club’s establishment and history, it also contains detailed profiles of some of the club’s best known players. Visit www.gloucesterrugbyheritage.org.uk for an informative and entertaining look at the club’s history (including illustrations and cartoons from the club’s old Magpie magazine). The project’s beautiful book ‘Gloucester Rugby Heritage’ may also be seen and purchased here, as well as at the club shop. www.cotswold-homes.com
Cotswolds FINEST HOTELS
Cotswolds Finest Hotels
SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE THIS CHRISTMAS! Who says hotel restaurants don’t do good food? With the Cotswolds Finest Hotels collection 2 Michelin Stars, 48 rosettes and a royal seal of approval would say differently! Living and working in the Cotswolds, we know how lucky we are to live in this beautiful part of the world, Sometimes, though, we forget that some of the best places to meet, eat and celebrate are right on our doorstep. From local pubs to fine dining, there is something for everyone and every celebration.
Lords of the Manor
For a great night out with friends, The Kingham Plough, The Kings Head in Bledington and Russells in Broadway are perfect for gourmet food in comfortable, informal surroundings. For a romantic dinner, there’s fine dining at the Lords of the Manor in the Slaughters, nearby Dial House Hotel in Bourton on the Water and the Dormy House in Broadway, all of which have been wowing locals for years. For a family occasion, a traditional Sunday lunch can be so difficult to get right but Charingworth Manor and The Cotswold Plough at Clanfield have certainly mastered it. Christmas is coming! An ideal gift for grandparents or friends is a delicious high tea at 20
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Kings Head Bar
a local hotel. The indulgent treat with homemade scones and jams, waist-expanding cakes and delicate sandwiches can be found in abundance across the Cotswolds from the Manor House in Moreton to the Old Bell in Malmesbury. The afternoon tea battle rages across the region Cotswold88 in Painswick , Burford House and Bibury Court all claim to do the best cream teas in the area - the only answer can be to try them all yourself . In fact, the Cotswolds Finest collection inspects all its members… it’s a hard job but someone has to do it! The beauty about this collection of properties is their location - they are so much more than great places to eat. If someone in your family is a keen
garden lover, then Barnsley House is just the ticket - or a pint and pie in the Village Pub. If you are feeling particularly indulgent towards your loved ones, why not get tickets for a Shakespeare production in Stratford and treat your lucky theatre-goers to dinner opposite in the Arden Hotel? Tickets to the Gold Cup and a couple of days at The Greenway (complete with spa) and The Hotel in Cheltenham would make an ideal present for ardent racing fans. Whilst you are doing your Christmas shopping, you should treat yourself to a spot of timely indulgence! The wonderful city of Bath is full of gorgeous shops but not complete without lunch at Bath Priory or a night at The Manor
Cotswolds FINEST HOTELS
House in Castle Combe, with its breath-taking views and superb service. Cirencester is another favourite of yummy mummies but don’t forget an afternoon of pampering at the spa in Calcot Manor, where kids are welcomed with a crèche and a Playzone. Forget shopping - how about a spot of celebritywatching? At Cotswold House in Chipping Camden they have an impressive events programme including dinner with live music or, if you are lucky, lunch with a TV presenter. The Royal family has also graced many hotels with their presence - The Goring Hotel in London was second home to the Middleton family during last year’s Royal wedding. With a hundred years of family ownership, this hotel is the byword in service and style, not to be missed on your next trip to the capital. Of course, equally worth a visit in the hope of seeing someone royal is
Manor Castle Combe dessert
Tetbury, home to Prince Charles and his famous Highgrove shop. Pop into Jack Hare’s pub in The Hare & Hounds Hotel, and toast your toes by a roaring log fire. For historic interest, Thornbury Castle played host to Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn - you can even stay in the very room where they slept! Perhaps you prefer to dine out by the water? The quaintly named Trout Inn at Tadpole Bridge in the village of Bampton sits on the River Thames. Tether your boat and enjoy a good local pint and great food in the Trout Inn, or look over the River Windrush at The Swan Hotel in Bibury. Further downstream is the Swan Inn in Swinbrook, as traditional an English pub as you will ever come across. And if you have a penchant for seafood but think the Cotswolds is too far inland, think again! The Old Passage at Arlington serves freshly shucked oysters and Cornish lobster
from their salt-water tanks. For most of us, no meal is complete without a tipple but more adventurous than the usual wine list, the chef at The Feathers at Woodstock has created a Gin Experience menu with handpicked gins to complement the taste and texture of each specially prepared dish. Yes, really! And of course, the perfect end to a great meal can be found every Friday at Three Ways Hotel near Chipping Campden where the Pudding Club has the last word in traditional pudding greats. The evening is all about having fun, being indulgent and a bit naughty too, so come prepared! Turn to the Privilege Card section (p106) for seasonal offers from some of the Cotswolds Finest Hotels and for more information and special offers, go to www. cotswoldsfinesthotels.com.
“Christmas is coming! An ideal gift for grandparents or friends is a delicious high tea at a local hotel”
Pop into any one of these properties and pick up a brochure
Old Bell at Malmsbury
COTSWOLDS FINEST HOTELS COMPETITION Cotswolds Finest Hotels have created a competition exclusively for our readers! To win a delicious three-course meal for two people at any one of the hotels in this article, answer this simple question –
formeal two !
How many hotels, bars and restaurants are mentioned in this article about Cotswolds Finest Hotels?
Dial House Hotel
To enter, and to see terms and conditions, simply visit the Cotswolds Finest Hotels website – www.cotswoldsfinesthotels.com/competition.aspx or scan the QR code with your smart phone www.cotswold-homes.com
The Regal RISES
M att D i c k s dis c o v ers h o w o n e family a n d a C o ts w o ld c o mm u n it y res u rre c ted E v esham ’ s s p le n did c i n ema
Dilapidated - The Regal before restoration
Rotten - the Auditorium before restoration
Search for The Regal Cinema, Evesham on Google Maps and you’ll find outdated photographs of how this grand building used to look: a rotten, neglected husk, riddled with holes and intruding birds. A thriving hub during the thirties, forties and fifties, it began to decline in the latter half of the 20th century until dire maintenance in the nineties brought it close to a wreck. For close to ten years it stood empty, rapidly approaching a state of utter dereliction. Enter the Wiper family in 2009. With the help of grants and an eager community, they managed to snatch the imperilled structure from ruin (or the rather more tedious fate of being converted into office blocks). And after a lot of graft, The Regal arose, phoenix-like, from its former shell. Opening its doors at the beginning of 2012, it was swiftly shortlisted for a major heritage award – the English Heritage Angel Award, as supported by the Sunday Telegraph and Andrew Lloyd Webber. I meet with Laurence Wiper in the Cinema’s café – an inviting, modern space containing a budding library and even a guestbook. 22
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The restroom before work began
The Regal RISES
The new women’s restroom
Refined seating for cinema-goers
The cinema’a streetside cafe
Laurence is young, enthusiastic and seems rightfully proud of all his family’s accomplishments. ‘When we turned up there were big holes in the floor,’ he remembers. ‘Water was pouring in and the whole place was just infested with pigeons.’ Looking around the café now at the people sipping cappuccinos or tapping at laptops, it is hard to imagine the squalor he describes. How has this miraculous transformation occurred? Put simply, the answer is: With a whole lot of help, and a whole lot of work. First, there came funds and donations, from the local district council and a Labour led Regional Development Agency, since axed by the Coalition government. On top of everything else, £80,000 was awarded just for the renovation of the façade. Fortunately, the project completed just in time to avoid the cuts. ‘If that funding hadn’t come through…,’ Laurence reflects, ‘…well, essentially, it was do or die for us.’ Then there was the assistance provided by the community itself. Local companies provided products and services for reduced rates or sometimes for free. As we walk upstairs to inspect the auditorium itself (complete with Egyptian plasterwork, digital projector and increased arch), Laurence tells me of a local man who dedicated his time to restoring hundreds of the cinema’s original brass fittings. He makes it clear that none of this would have been possible without the generosity and support of the people of Evesham. ‘We worked out the value of all the labour, donations, fixtures and fittings we received from the community. We put it at about £400,000.’ Before the Wipers settled on The Regal,
The Auditorium today
“ A n d a f ter a l o t o f gra f t, T he R egal ar o se , p h o e n i x - li k e , f r o m its f o rmer shell . O p e n i n g its d o o rs at the b egi n n i n g o f 2 0 1 2 , it was s w i f tl y sh o rtlisted f o r a ma j o r heritage award – the E n glish H eritage A n gel Award ”
Laurence spent a while driving around the country, scouting for disused cinemas that demonstrated potential. Evesham’s seemed to have a special quality that is tricky for him to define. ‘There’s just something about this place,’ he says. ‘I don’t know what exactly. It’s sort of indelibly linked with people’s minds.’ The Regal was built in 1932, financed by a group of local independent businessmen. Its architect specialised in the construction of cinemas, and Evesham’s cinema, one of his later commissions, is a fine example of
The Circle Bar
The Regal RISES
Reborn - the Auditorium
The Regal was restored with the help of the community
his work. The design of this place might go towards explaining the kind of affinity Laurence is describing, along with a local feeling of nostalgia. So who has the re-opened Regal proven most popular with? ‘With most cinemas, most of the money typically comes in from a younger crowd. Our demographic is presently over age thirty, but it’s all content driven. When we screened The Dark Knight Rises, the latest Batman film, it brought a whole new audience through our doors.’ They’ve just branched out into live events and performances, too, with impressionist Alistair McGowan one of the first on the books, and obviously the beautiful new café is going down a storm. ‘One of our aims was to be a real multi-purpose facility,’ he says proudly. Of course, you hear a lot of horror stories about the state of cinema these days. As we’re now well used to hearing, piracy and the recession have the film industry in a stranglehold. Was it scary to push ahead with the plans in a climate of such unremitting gloom? ‘Yes. The whole project was a total disaster on one level. There was no indication that the banks would mess everything up and just stop lending. It killed any entrepreneurial activity dead. It was very difficult to go and do it, but the idea was very good.’ Is it a relief to feel established now? ‘I don’t think we’re established at all. They say it takes around three years to become really ‘known’ by people. I still meet people living in 24
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The Regal’s restored exterior
Evesham who have no idea we exist! We worked out that currently around 50% of our visitors are from outside the area, 40% are new and 10% are returning.’ It’s funny that the new cinema feels like it has been open longer than it has; as a matter of fact, it’s only been open seven months at the time of interview. It must have been the splash that the project has made: I can’t count how many conversations I’ve had with people about it, or how many times I’ve been asked whether or not I’ve seen a film there. There is plenty to admire about The Regal, and
“ T he y ’ v e j u st b ra n c hed o u t i n t o li v e e v e n ts a n d p er f o rma n c es , t o o , w ith im p ressi o n ist A listair M c G o wa n o n e o f the f irst o n the b o o k s , a n d o b v i o u sly the b ea u ti f u l n e w c a f é is g o i n g d o w n a st o rm . ”
Laurence Wiper (centre) with author Rob Hemming and Eva Juarena
I’m not just talking about the décor. It takes pluck both to launch a restoration project of this scale and ride it out through what has been a very wobbly time for cinema. The benefits it brings to the community are numerous: a decent cinema can undoubtedly become the cultural heart of a town, attracting more visitors whilst providing regular entertainment for locals. Film has a universal appeal, and the Regal team are definitely adept at pitching to all tastes. In recent times, going to the movies has become a fundamentally unclassy experience, with multiplexes as vast and chilly as warehouses, smelling of stale sweets and recycled air. With The Regal, a little something of the past has been returned, married with commercial awareness and contemporary style. May this new venture mark the start of a new heyday for local cinema.
Laura Bechtolsheimer was one third of the dressage team that seized Olympic gold for Team GB, ending the German dominance, and also took the bronze in the individual event. Her win means the postbox in her home village of Ampney St. Peter was painted gold by the Royal Mail. Images courtesy of photographer Ian Tonks.
CH: One of the objectives of the Olympics was to ‘Inspire a Generation’. After the medal wins, is dressage now getting the kind of respect and interest that it deserves? LB: There is definitely an increase in interest in dressage but more importantly the Olympics as a whole does seem to have touched the hearts of so many of the general public. The amount of letters and messages I have received, especially from children, has been amazing. I really do think the Olympics will leave a wonderful legacy and inspire many children to have a go at sports, dressage included. I’m getting a lot of children asking about the “dancing horses” and all the interest has to be a good thing for the sport in the future. A dressage horse is typically very large and either Dutch or German - why is that? What attributes make a great dressage horse? The Dutch and Germans have a long heritage in breeding horses for dressage, whereas in Britain we have traditionally led the way with racehorse breeding and horses suitable for eventing. Over the past 15 years or so, breeding for dressage has become very popular in this country and we are now producing some wonderful horses ourselves. A dressage horse does not have to be big - I just favour the bigger horses! If you look at the top horses from the Olympics they are all very different in appearance. The important thing is that they have a good walk, trot and canter with correct rhythm. It is easier to train them if they are naturally responsive and want to work for you. Willingness to work with the rider is very important. In Freestyle competitions riders select their own music and choreograph their own routines. How responsive are horses to music? Did you have to search long for something Alf was comfortable with? In my experience the horses can really get to know their own music and enjoy performing to 28
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it. When I first got Alf, he wasn’t too sure about the music playing and I had to be careful with my choice as loud music did upset him. Now he’s older and wiser he really enjoys the freestyle competition so I’m thrilled that in London we could ride to my favourite soundtrack from the Lion King. You and Alf have come a long way together since Beijing. Do you think that kind of close, special bond is something that can be created with another horse? Well, there will never be another Alf, he really is a special horse to me but I do think its is possible to have a similar bond with another horse. All horses are different so each relationship is unique and that is part of why I love dressage so much. Now Britain is the reigning dressage champion team, is establishing a national legacy something that you feel is important? Do you think there will be more investment in the sport as a result of your wins? I really hope that because of our medals the sport can continue to grow in this country. It’s vital that we all look forward to the future and now plan towards the next major championships. You can already see in the national competitions that the standard for horses and riders is increasing and the pool of talented horses in this country is also increasing. Of course, increased investment in the sport would be a major asset as would securing owners of young horses for future teams. There is a real belief in Great Britain as a dressage nation now and it’s important that we grow from here as the other nations will be determined to beat us next time. What has your win meant for the local community? Is there a sense that Ampney St. Peter has been ‘put on the map’ by Olympic triumph? The atmosphere in the village has been wonderful. When I returned from the Olympics
I couldn’t believe how many people came out to see me. It really means a lot to me to have so much support. Your mother runs a successful breeding programme. Will you be looking to train up some foals into future champions one day? Yes, we do have some lovely young horses. One of our homebreds, Polar Bear, is very promising for the future. Hopefully he will be my horse for Rio. Training for world class events must be very demanding. Where do you go in the Cotswolds to unwind? The Cotswolds is a wonderful place to live. I really enjoy going out for meals with friends when I get chance. It’s nice to eat at the Barnsley village pub and the Hare and Hounds on the Fosse.
DIARY OF AN EQUESTRIAN LADY
DIARY OF AN EQUESTRIAN LADY by Collette Fairweather
It’s A Hound’s Life.... Photography by Sarah Farnsworth www.sarahfarnsworth.co.uk
After 25 years at the helm, Nigel Peel and his wife Sophia are the longest serving masters of the North Cotswold Hunt. In a career that has spanned 42 years they have bred, trained and worked over 12,000 hounds. Their most recent accolade was at the 2012 Peterborough Fox Hound Show, where they won the Best Unentered Dog Hound contest. A welldeserved reward for the decades of dedicated breeding that can be traced back to 1740, all documented in Mr Peel’s traditional ledger. As we leaf the pages, the fountain pen scrawl has recorded every puppy that has been born and the name given, following generations of particular lines. Bitches are mated around three years of age; efforts are made for whelping to take place from December to February, so that puppies are a similar age. I was surprised to find that kennels name each puppy, taking the first two letters of their mothers name, for example, Peover gave birth to Peggy, Pencil, Petrol and 30
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Pepper Pot and Birdsong is mother to Birthday, Biscuit and Bitten. From the age of ten weeks, the puppies are sent out ‘to walk’; placed in families with predominantly farming backgrounds to be socialised and educated. Puppies are encouraged to encounter everything that they must ignore in their adult working life. “Hounds must be hugely obedient, they mustn’t chase the sheep, they mustn’t catch the cats, they mustn’t chase the deer,” Nigel says. He likens the puppies to stroppy teenagers when they return to kennels, they are enrolled at boarding school. Dogs and bitches are kept entire for breeding purposes and so have to be separated, “sometimes with a crowbar” Mr Peel jests, into their respective kennels. Pups are quick to learn the kennel routine. These ‘Aga babies’ are each coupled with an older, educated hound and the basics are absorbed, developing their genetic
instincts. Nigel admits that he finds this the hardest time of year. “As hounds return, we face the monumental task of learning all the new names, as all hounds are addressed individually.” This is no mean feat with fortysix couples (ninety-two hounds) in kennels before the new recruits arrive. “We houndexercise different routes around Broadway, starting at one mile and work up to fifteen miles per morning. It’s a physically gruelling time,” Nigel admits. “We ride about a thousand miles on our bicycles between April and August!” It is apparent that huge efforts are made to build individual relationships with the hounds. “They are most responsive to your tone – the language of chase originates from Norman French – however one could say fish and chips in the right tone and you would get a response.” Once the basics have been distilled, the hounds are uncoupled and if the taste of freedom doesn’t affect their obedience, they
DIARY OF AN EQUESTRIAN LADY
A Miraculous pony tale Every summer, my family departs en masse for the South Devon coastline - for over a week, I shirk my equine responsibilities and indulge in my passion for all things nautical (and too many honeycomb ice creams) but, as with any animal owner, I go with the fear that whilst I am off duty, disaster will surely erupt. This year saw my worries materialise - my mother relayed the unfolding tragedy over the phone - Stavros, my childhood pony, now thirty years of age, was lying prone in the paddock, unable to move for the excruciating pain in his hooves. The vet’s diagnosis was cushings, laminitis and a rotated pedal bone, deemed a fatal combination. On my return home, uncertain as to whether I was simply delaying the inevitable, we headed off to Sarah Branston of the ECB Equine Spa near Bourton on the Water. We pushed my little pony into the spa, following in the hoof-steps of a string of Olympic horses that regularly reap the benefits of spa treatment - a magical cocktail of healing salts and aerating bubbles served up at a chilling three degrees, designed to relieve heat and inflammation, encouraging healing and hoof growth. To my delight and surprise this spa had a miraculous and instantaneous affect on Stavros, who has now fully recovered. I have to confess, I feel a duty as a horse owner to spread the word on this treatment - it could be the preventative and solution for so many owners when lameness inescapably strikes.
are taken ‘Autumn Hunting’ before they are released on to the hunting field later in the year. With such attention to breeding detail, hounds are all of a similar size, benefit from good feet and a loud bark or ‘cry’, but those that are unable to manage the demanding terrain of the Cotswolds are ‘gifted’ to other reputable packs. Hounds have not been sold since the late 1950s, which is why you don’t see hounds on leads in parks. “Hounds are pack animals, not pets. They are not solitary animals - they would feel very unnerved to be separated.” Nigel seems to have an almost paternal bond with his hounds. “Like children, each has a totally unique character,” he says, referring to them with kindness and soft reflection. The Fox Hound may be a hunter but it is not so different from the spaniel, the Labrador or any other working breed. The need to work is a deep-rooted instinct, an addiction to pleasing their handlers, relishing the adoration of a job well done.
For further information visit the website www.equinespa.com
Don’t miss this year’s Hunt Ball, the main event of the North Cotswold calendar! Dust off your DJs and pull out your party frocks, it’s that time of year again! Book your table for the 2012 North Cotswold Hunt Ball on Saturday 1st December - don your dancing shoes for live music from the Jack Hyde Band and get ready to make some shapes in the Sin Bin with Toppers Disco!
Master of the NC Hunt, Nigel Peel
Session stylists from Number Twelve will be on hand for glamorous hair and make-up to ensure you are properly prepared for the photographer, darlings, so see you there! www.cotswold-homes.com
Bloxham offers an Irresistible Challenge Photographs by Hoofprints Photography
No sooner had the sun gone down over Stratford (East London, that is - not on Avon!) and our magnificent Olympic Games than Bloxham School were inviting both local and not-so-local youngsters to accept the Bloxham Eventer Challenge. prizes went to King’s Worcester, with Bloxham lifting the Intermediate and Open categories building on their 2012 National Schools Eventing title. ‘Knowing next to nothing about horses or equestrian events put me at a bit of a disadvantage in the early days but served to concentrate the mind a bit’, confessed Nick. ‘A strategy was required and mine was a simple one – surround myself with a small team of people who were passionate about riding and all would be well. Many mums (and even a few dads!) stepped forward, some to help organise, others simply to help out on the day. I have been really fortunate in having some superb lieutenants: Sue, Caroline, Donna and Emma - thank you! We have also always had huge encouragement and expertise from the Foxhill team and professional support from John Brookes equestrian veterinary practice, the Now in its seventh year, the Bloxham Challenge is staged at the magnificent equestrian centre based on Foxhill Farm, Eydon on the Northants/ Oxon border. Run by Keith and Lesley Smith, Foxhill offers great facilities for the challenge which comprises show-jumping, cross-country, roads and tracks and steeplechase elements. Bloxham’s Headmaster, Mark Allbrook and his wife Mary had the idea that with so many pupils involved in equestrian sport out of school that it would make great sense to bring it onto the already burgeoning extra-curricular activity list at the school. The Allbrooks thought that it would be disingenuous to offer an event to pupils from Bloxham and other schools if there were no regular activities to support it, and so a regular equestrian club was formed. This has grown from strength to strength both in numbers and also in the quality of the riders, thanks largely to the expert tuition and coaching offered by Fran Bird from her Swacliffe base. A second activity has been added at a facility that hires ponies to those who either don’t own or who live too far away to have them transported on a regular basis. As the activity has grown so has the event, continually evolving and reinventing itself to keep fresh - and also to confound those who sought to copy it! Nick Irvine, Bloxham’s 32
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Director of Marketing, was persuaded to take on the organisation of the event and was both surprised and flattered to find that a school in Reading had simply done a ‘cut and paste’ job on the Bloxham schedule, passing it off as their own. ‘What really gave it away’, said Nick, ‘were the directions to our venue appearing in their schedule! ‘So, this year, a mini-eventer challenge was added on the Saturday afternoon preceding the main Sunday event. To see so many tinies having such great fun was inspiring. The trophy awarded to the winning team has been called the Mary Allbrook Cup as Mark will be retiring at the end of this academic year and Bloxham wanted to acknowledge Mary’s contribution in the introduction of the riding activity.’ Beachborough School were the inaugural winners of the cup and on the Sunday team
school doctor and paramedic teams who have, mercifully, seldom been called upon! ‘Few sports require such dedicated parental support (both in terms of finance and time) as equestrianism and it is good that the children recognise this and appreciate the opportunity that it is giving them. The sport fits perfectly with our mantra of looking to find the spark in every child. I have no doubt that, for many of our pupils, riding is what gets them out of bed in the morning and motivates them. They are so lucky that they can follow this at school and I hope and expect that equestrianism will go from strength to strength here in the years ahead.’ Find out more about Bloxham School (and its other activities) at www.bloxhamschool.com
Recent Olympic success with the British shooting team has fired new interest in an old sport shooting. We catch up with Daniel Martin, owner of Prescott Shooting School, based near Winchcombe in the heart of the North Cotswolds, to find out more about how to get involved. Daniel Martin runs the school throughout the year, offering tuition for individuals and groups, whether for experienced game shooters or for novices trying clay shooting for their first time and totally unaccustomed to holding a shotgun. Having witnessed his relaxed, easy-going style with a group of first-timers, soon wreathed in smiles with the break of their first clay, we questioned how Daniel manages the range of abilities that he sees on a day-to-day basis. CH What courses do you offer for different abilities, Daniel? Can someone come up here for a one-off trial, to see whether they are suited to the sport, for example? DM Yes, we offer clay shooting, archery, X-Bows & Air Rifle tuition, from one hour sessions to a full day’s entertainment whether it’s a birthday celebration, stag or hen party or team building, they are all very popular and intensely enjoyable. We also have Simulated Game Days that are held in the “closed season” from March to October, for those experienced shots wanting to keep their eye in or for corporate entertainment. CH What about one-to-one tuition? DM Whatever level of skill, we offer a one-toone, hour-long instruction for the complete beginner going up to the most experienced shot, usually a course of six lessons. CH How do you manage the demands of more experienced shots? DM We hold half-day Masters courses designed for groups of five to nine experienced shots, helping them to perfect their technique, to brush up before the season or before a clay shooting competition, and a full day Masters course - a morning of intense instruction, lunch at the local country pub followed and an afternoon of instruction - to iron out bad habits, improve consistency and to get back on form before the first day in the shooting field.
TIC I SEE KEN PAGETS 5
and experience of the clients that can be booked as a series of instruction days or just the one occasion. The academy gives clients the opportunity to join other novice shots in a non-pressurised environment to learn all the essential game shooting etiquette, gun handling and safety in both a shooting school and field environment, with friendly and highly experienced instructors from our shooting school. CH Do you have any specific tuition days or special occasions planned in the near future? DM We are running introductory courses on 27th and 28th December - the first day at Prescott school and the second at Forthampton Court. We also have a number of Intermediate Game Days - a 150 Bird Day where instructors join clients on the shooting line for intense “in field” instruction. We also have the Prescott Roving Syndicate for experienced shots, when we select a number of
quality Cotswold shoots where clients can take individual pegs or join the roving syndicate as a full gun. CH What are the main benefits of becoming part of your syndicate? DM I am personally involved, along with another experienced instructor, on each occasion. We provide a “roving” instruction service from the school to other shoots where, if needed, we can immediately step in and give a helping hand to anyone who might be struggling on a particular drive. The syndicate provides a unique opportunity for a personally tailored service for those who take the sport most seriously. For more information about the Prescott Shooting School, contact Daniel directly on 01242 673542 or fill in an enquiry form on www.prescottshooting.com.
We also have a Game Shooting Academy, with three levels depending on the ability www.cotswold-homes.com
Inside the Sculptor’s Studio Matt Dicks visits James Butler’s studio to find out, amongst other things, exactly what it’s like to meet, sketch and sculpt the Queen…
Cotswold Homes Magazine
It’s always worrying, driving out to conduct an interview in the heart of the countryside. In a place like this, sometimes entire villages will seem to go missing amongst the woodland, hills and valleys. In this case, I really don’t want to be late: I’m meeting with the sculptor James Butler, who has done some very interesting things indeed. When I turn down a lane and see the distinctive figures positioned around a group of farm buildings, there’s no mistaking that I’ve arrived at the right place. Models, armatures and prototypes of all kinds stand around the site, seeming almost like echoes of their completed counterparts. I am faintly surprised to see the tragic figure of Daedalus spreading his wings in the sunny courtyard - James’s poignant, iconic tribute to the many airmen who have perished in the skies. Of course, you may already be familiar with the finished Memorial to the Fleet Air Arm statue, which stands in London’s Victoria Embankment Gardens, just outside the Ministry of Defence (the work was officially unveiled, in fact, by the Prince of Wales). Perhaps you’ve also seen the playful Dolphin Fountain at the heart of Dolphin Square, or have had in your possession the 50p coin commissioned by the Royal Mint to commemorate Roger Bannister’s record run. These few represent just a noteworthy fraction of the sculptor’s many publicly known works. James is there to greet me when I pull up. I must confess that I was
slightly awed by the prospect of meeting somebody with so many letters following their name: MBE, RA, RWA, FRBS…but I shouldn’t have been. Throughout our time together, this esteemed sculptor is modest, charming and willing to discuss any one of the numerous statues or models on display. Unlike some artists I have met, he doesn’t even drop a single name. Except, of course, for the biggest name of all: Queen Elizabeth II, who sat for James after he was commissioned to create a new Great Seal of the Realm. Given an audience of just around half an hour to produce the sketches and photographs he needed, did he feel nervous? ‘Oh yes. She was very sweet, and she would ask me things that I would completely miss because I was concentrating so hard. I had to keep asking her to repeat what she’d just said.’ Inside his studio, James opens a red case to show me the Great Seal design. Appended to important state documents and proclamations, such seals have been in use for hundred of years, with each monarch bearing their own. When briefed, he was given a choice of just three positions that the Queen would assume, though she assented to his request to wear a flowing robe. When James’s seal entered official service, Her Majesty ceremonially defaced the old one, which had been in use for around fifty years, with a light blow from a hammer. And when the Queen gave formal consent for Prince William to wed Kate Middleton, the notice of approval was accompanied with this same seal. The project led to more commissions from the Royal Mint, with a Royal Jubilee presentation coin made in 2002 and the aforementioned Roger Bannister 50p coin produced in 2004. But the main body of James’s work is of course statuary and sculpture - the memorials, portraits and monuments that have made his name, from leading figures in military history through to sporting heroes and young ballerina girls.
Cotswold Homes Magazine
Original Sketches for Memorial to the Fleet Air Arm
Bar a short stint where he spent his National Service in a ‘very comfortable’ position working as a code-breaker in Germany, James has been supporting himself with his art all his working life.
Bar a short stint where he spent his National Service in a ‘very comfortable’ position working as a code-breaker in Germany, James has been supporting himself with his art all his working life. ‘Before leaving school, I had to have an appointment with the careers master,’ he recalls, ‘who was also the art teacher. To my surprise, when I told him that I was planning to go to art college he said: “Great! Even if you turn out as no good, you’ll meet lots of pretty girls and have a great time. It’ll be the best two years of your life!”’ James arrived at the Royal College of Art via the Maidstone and St. Martin’s Schools of Art, later becoming a Member of the Royal Academy. His first real ‘breakout’ commission came in 1972 when he received an unexpected phone call from the retinue of an undisclosed Commonwealth leader – who was later revealed to be Jomo Kenyatta; the first Prime Minister and President of Kenya.The stately 12-foot, seated portrait statue of Kenyatta that James made enabled him to give up his work as a visiting teacher and devote his full attention to his sculpture. Now in his eighties and still creating, he has ridden the wave from that first great commission to establish a life-long career. Has he always been sure of his path? ‘There was a brief time when I thought about the army,’ he says. Routine and regular cooked dinners
might have tempted at the time, but it is difficult to imagine two lifestyles more at odds than artist and soldier. ‘Sometimes I meet and talk with generals and people like that when I’m working on the big military statues. That does feel strange. I was only ever a corporal…’ Inside his on-site gallery, we examine the assembled artworks. Here there are many figures of historic, social or military significance. Isambard Kingdom Brunel, President Kenyatta and Roy Chadwick, designer of the Lancaster bomber, are amongst the personages neighbouring the dancing and reclining girls that make up the more personal work. There are obvious contrasts between figures, but unifying all the work is an essential humanity or spirit that transforms inert material into living character. Sometimes public statues and memorials can seem heavy, dour, po-faced; not so here, where dancers are graceful and weightless and soldiers display nuanced expressions, appearing at once wounded and courageous. After inspecting a final figure, a beautiful statue of the sculptor’s wife, Angie, I climb back into the car and depart from this oasis of art – hoping that just a few of my fudged photographs can convey a sense of the talent and range that I’ve just witnessed.
An Illustrator’s Life
An Illustrator’s Life Cotswold-based illustrator Laura Fearn on art, family and producing picture books
What does a typical working day entail? I work 3 days a week and spend the other two with my youngest daughter. My day starts with a crazy scramble to get my children to school and nursery: I am constantly amazed how much time they can take over the simplest tasks! I usually walk or cycle, dropping the eldest at school and then up the hill to nursery for my little one. This is my exercise for the day. Once I am back at home the house becomes my office and I do not do any housework - I get on with my job. Sometimes people ask if I get distracted by doing the washing or something and the answer is ‘Definitely not, I’d far rather be working!’ I only take about 10 minutes for lunch, which I will eat in the garden if it’s sunny. I have to leave at 2.40pm to collect my daughters except on a Thursday when my mother-in-law has them so I can work a bit longer. I often work later in the evenings on computer-based work like my website.
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What Cotswold location is most inspirational to you – and why? I like to paint town scenes. At the moment, Cirencester is most inspirational to me, I love the busy hustle and bustle of the streets, the architecture is beautiful and on a sunny day the light is stunning. I have also done a couple of night-time scenes lately and I loved painting those because there were fairy-lights and reflections that were extremely pretty. There are so many lovely streets, alleyways, little yards that all create perfect little vistas. I don’t think I will ever run out of things to paint here. I can paint the same scene on different days and it will look completely different. I also have plans to paint Tetbury and other Cotswold towns. There are so many beautiful places around here that I shall never run out of subject matter. I paint Bath and Bristol too, as I have family in both. I was brought up in Bath and I did my Art Foundation course in Bristol, which is where I met my husband. Funnily
enough, my parents met at the same art college. Where do you live? I live in Stratton on the edge of Cirencester. I love it because it’s a village and my house has great views over the water meadows but I can walk in to town in fifteen minutes or cycle in five. Do you have a special working space? I work in a spare room in my house although I am often out drawing around Cirencester; on a sunny day I like nothing more than sitting outside and capturing a scene. I have even been known to sit under a shop canopy in the rain. When it gets too cold, I am often to be found in a cafe window. Some kind shop owners have even let me sit in their shops and let me paint. What have you been working on over the last year? Over the past year I have been working on paintings of Bath, Cirencester and Clifton
Diary ofAn anIllustrator’s Equestrian Lady Life
in Bristol for small exhibitions in each town. I have taken commissions for paintings of people’s houses and have also painted and drawn portrait commissions. The other project I have worked on this year was an illustration commission to paint village halls and the people who use them. How many exhibitions have you had in 2012? I had an exhibition in a cafe in Bath in the spring and I currently have an exhibition in Rosemarino (1 York Place, Clifton, Bristol). I also had some paintings in the Little Paper Gallery at the Brewery Arts in Cirencester in January: they have some of my paintings and prints in their shop now. In December, there will be a Christmas exhibition in the Little Paper Gallery with my paintings and the work of some other artists. I have also two paintings in The Bath Prize exhibition. How many children’s books have you produced? I have honestly never counted how many children’s books I have produced! I worked inhouse for Usborne Publishing for 8 years and continued to work freelance after that. I was Senior Designer and as such I designed many books. I also designed series of books and then supervised other designers on the series. I worked on books ranging from young picture books to huge illustrated encyclopaedias. How long does it typically take to produce a children’s book? It entirely depends on the book: An encyclopaedia of History or Geography may take about 6 months of writing and designing, longer still for production and printing. I worked closely with the writers/editors and would then commission illustrators or use photographs which involved a great deal of time trawling through picture libraries for the right images. A picture book series might take several weeks
to develop the style then the books would take 2-3 months each, partly because the illustrator would need time to produce their artwork. Often my role in the commissioning situation would be to draw out the layout of the illustration to ensure the text would fit with the images and the illustrator would take that sketch and produce it in their style. Other illustrators were able to produce the artwork with less direction. Generally if there were historical or scientific aspects to the illustration they would need more direction from me in order to get these correct. I would have been working on more than one book at a time. Which artists do you admire? I think Jenny Saville is fantastic, I love her figure paintings. I adore Van Gogh, his bold use of colour is inspirational and the characters he achieves in his paintings are so well observed, I love to look at his sketches. In fact, I love to look at the sketches of many artists; they are often more revealing than their finished paintings. Which character, location, subject or person have you most enjoyed drawing? My favourite subjects are my daughters. After
working in publishing for so long I had become used to working in a certain way, within a ‘house style’. Drawing my daughter helped me to find my own way of working and my own style again. It took a while and I am progressing and developing my work all the time. I still love to paint my girls though; my first drawing of my youngest daughter was done when she was 3 days old, when I was still in Stroud Maternity hospital. I have a diary/sketchbook for both my daughters which I started before they were born. I write important milestones, funny things they say, interesting things they do and of course there are drawings and paintings. The portraits have progressed over the past year to large A1 oil and acrylic paintings - clearly these don’t fit in the books any more! I’m so glad I have recorded them in this way and I fully intend to continue recording them for as long as I am able. Have you won any awards? Several of my books have won awards, the most notable being ‘The Complete Book of The Microscope’ aimed at 8-12 year olds. I had a great time designing this one using amazing SEN microscope images of all sorts of amazing things from beautiful pollen to revolting body lice that look like armour-plated monsters when blown up so big! We won the Rhone Poulenc Junior Science Book Award which was a cash prize. It paid for a great holiday and some home improvements. This year I was awarded ‘Special Recognition’ for a painting of my daughter by Light Space Time Gallery in their ‘All Women’ competition. What’s your favourite story, myth or tale? Maurice Sendak’s ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ has always been my favourite children’s book. I also think ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ by Michael Rosen, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury is stunningly beautiful, especially the special edition pop-up book. See more of the artist’s work at www. laurafearn.com. Laura welcomes artwork commissions and can be reached on 07594 302 216 / Laurafearn@gmail.com www.cotswold-homes.com
‘In at St. James’ by Lindy Allfrey
Stow in the Wold artist, Lindy Allfrey, who runs her own gallery and studio on Sheep Street, is sharing her portrait ‘In at St. James’ with readers of Cotswold Homes. Lindy’s painting was accepted for the prestigious 2012 Holburne Portrait Prize competition at the Holburne Museum at Bath. The competition showcases some of the most talented and innovative portrait painters working in the south west. The subject of the portrait is well known to Lindy: ‘He’s a friend of one of my children I’ve known him since the age of thirteen. We borrowed the uniform and I painted him in my studio.’ The ceremonial uniform is worn by the Irish Guards who are tasked with protecting the Queen. Based in Windsor, the Battalion conducts ceremonial duties at Buckingham Palace, St. James’ Palace and the Tower of London. 2012 has been a good year for Lindy, who also won the President and Vice President Choice for her ‘Model in New York’ oil painting at the Society of Women Artists awards, as presented by HRH Princess Michael of Kent.
HOT PROPERTY - ASK THE EXPERTS
Ask the experts
Market Place Karen Harrison
We bought in 2006 for £525,000. In February we will have to go on the lender’s standard variable rate another £500 per month, so we need to move very quickly. We invited out three agents but the prices and fees differ hugely - £585,000, £540,000 and £499,950, their fees in reverse proportion to their prices! What is the best thing to do? Many lenders are hiking up their standard variable rates. However, on the plus side, purchasers in the local market tend to be cash-rich, so there is still plenty of money and competition for the most desirable properties. Prices for the best properties are now generally equivalent to the height of the market at the end of 2006. As low repayment deals come to an end this will bring more properties to the market, for the same reason you now have to move, and there is downsizing going on as a result. Unfortunately, your particular property is also at the very sharp end of the stamp duty question. The best mortgage deals are only available to those with high levels of equity - purchasers are reluctant to push over stamp duty thresholds, putting all available cash into equity. Thresholds are big braking points compared with when you bought in 2006, when finance was plentiful and competition amongst buyers was fierce.
and have been given three scenarios – at £585,000 the first agent is saying that the market is so strong you could get way in excess of what you paid but that is highly unlikely right now. Don’t sign up to a contract, however cheap, on the basis of such nonsense – it’s a cynical strategy designed to secure your business then to drive down price over time whilst you are tied in, meanwhile suffering from increasing financial pressure to accept a low offer. Even marginal over-pricing is dangerous if there is a lot of natural competition. Your property will linger, becoming less attractive against fresh competition with every passing month. At £540,000 the second agent insists you can get at least the money you paid for it but I am afraid there is too much disincentive to go over the stamp duty threshold amongst today’s buyers unless a property genuinely commands the price - based on what you paid for it, this is not the case. You could test the market at that figure but you haven’t got the luxury of time on your side. Are these agents eager to bring round buyers right now? If so, test their strategy for a week or two by asking for one-off viewings, but don’t get persuaded in to a sole agency on that basis.
Right now, the number of available properties in this price range is noticeably increasing but the market is still being priced as if there was a shortage of stock – it’s not as if we can sensibly expect prices still to rise. Soon, with increasing choice, buyers will just wait until the right property to come up at a sensible, competitive price - you only bought at £525,000 at the height, so why two such high valuations? Of course, expect to negotiate, but only by a margin of around 5% - any more and your house won’t attract buyers in the first instance, particularly if there is a lot of choice. A recent survey by Rightmove concluded that 6 out of 10 buyers won’t even enquire about a property they think is overpriced. The longer a property remains on the market, the less it will achieve against its potential best price, eventually.
At £499,950 the last agent is a bit conservative because buyers do expect to negotiate - but I like their honesty and their strategy. Really good agents will have a strong grasp of their buyers, they will get as many through the door as fast as possible and by that method will secure the highest possible price within a few weeks. The quality of your agent is crucially important to your success – not just the price. Good agents command a higher fee and if the last ones are proven performers, go on with them at £525,000 and drop back after four weeks to the lower price. Better to accept that you might not get more than £500,000 and sell quickly – there is a lot of overpriced property currently on the market and sophisticated purchasers will do their homework on Land Registry stats. They will see you aren’t asking too much money and be more inclined to offer closer to the asking price, accordingly.
Estate agents don’t control the market - they can’t change the outcome of your sale by pricing the property higher than it will sustain against its competitors. The better the agent, the more informed and the more honestly they will advise you - herein lies your problem. Agents often compete to secure your property by overpricing, basing their evidence on other, frequently over-priced properties currently in the market, rather than sold prices. Don’t get sucked in by blarney! You are under pressure to move
Karen Harrison is co-founder and owner of HARRISON & HARDIE estate agency, a local independent company that has enjoyed consistent success as market leaders and specialists in Residential Sales and Lettings of North Cotswold properties for well over a decade, and is the appointed agent for Fine & Country in the North Cotswolds. To speak to Karen, telephone 01608 651000 or 01451 822977 or e-mail kharrison@ harrisonandhardie.co.uk. To view properties for sale or to let, visit www.cotswold-homes.com.
Cotswold Homes Magazine
HOT PROPERTY - ASK THE EXPERTS
Ask the experts
Holiday Cottages Andy Soye
I own a cottage in the Cotswolds where we live from April to October, staying in Spain during the winter. Friends have suggested that we should let it out whilst we are away but surely this area is primarily a summer destination and there is insufficient interest to justify doing so during quieter, off-peak months? Other than Christmas and New Year, or the week of the Cheltenham Races - which are always extremely popular and generate prime bookings - the off peak season runs from the week after the October half term until March. Owners might worry they will earn little or no income; it is easy to forget that booking a holiday home in the Cotswolds out of season is actually an extremely attractive idea. The region is easily accessible from both the north and south, and only an hour and a half by train from
To maximize bookings out of season, we believe it is a matter of continuing to market a property actively. We focus on maintaining our marketing throughout the year so that interest is constantly generated booking levels are consistently maintained, too. Rather than allowing properties to remain empty we implement a dynamic pricing system - during off peak months we offer last minute discounts based on a pricing scale. If a property remains available during certain dates, the closer it is to those dates then the less expensive it will be. This has been a very successful strategy for our owners and has generated them continued income during what are perceived to be less lucrative months. Another aspect is to ensure flexibility on start and end dates. It’s as simple as doing what you can to accommodate the wishes of anyone interested in making a booking, therefore offering a high quality,
“We focus on maintaining our marketing throughout the year so that interest is constantly generated and therefore bookings are consistent” London’s Paddington station. Most importantly, the area retains its charm and appeal all year round – whatever the weather. A cottage with a wood burning fire, the opportunity for autumnal walks and villages tucked away in picturesque valleys give the perfect setting for a weekend away. Property owners might see fewer week-long bookings but we find there are a very good number of bookings taken for long weekends. Many of our properties are fully booked at weekends from now until the end of December and we have already taken a significant number of bookings for the first quarter of next year. Owners should not dismiss the income available to them during these months. One of our most popular four-star properties is Hainault House. Sleeping eight, out of season its weekend prices (Friday to Monday) start at around £580.
more tailored service. As a result, we end up taking bookings for most available weekends and we maintain a good average monthly income for our owners. It only takes a short time for us to prepare a property for let, so you could still catch the lucrative Christmas and New Year market – and of course, Gold Cup week in March! Interview by Elizabeth Cherry. Andy Soye and Mat Faraday are co-founders and owners of Character Cottages, an independent company specialising in letting luxury holiday properties in the Cotswolds. To find out more about their services contact them on: enquiries@ charactercottages.com or telephone 0844 8708532
Ganborough House Ganborough House has history, style and character, situated in stunning countryside and enjoying the benefits of an idyllic community life. Built in 1746, Ganborough House is a home with heart and soul, with many original features to recommend it.
“It’s a very special home,” explains Peter Green, the present owner, “that has been loved and cared for by three generations of my family. It almost makes the house feel like an ancestral home – many memories have been built here and although my family have looked after the property Ganborough House has also looked after them too.” Peter and his wife Caroline have brought up their family here, too, and fully appreciate the joy of this beautiful home and the practicality of its design. “All the rooms have good proportions and, with a growing family, the space - both outside as well as indoors - has been an added bonus. Over the years we’ve made some improvements; the addition of an annexe 46
Cotswold Homes Magazine
allowed us to accommodate a close relative whilst the attic space was further enhanced after we replaced the roof. The layout of the rooms can be easily changed around, making them very flexible spaces, especially with the potential of extra room in the attic and the vast space in the double vaulted cellar.” “It’s a home that can adapt itself very well to a family’s particular needs,” adds Caroline, “and our own family history is proof of that. The kitchen is the heart of our home - the large oak beams and original flagstones make the room feel so warm and comfortable - it’s the place where we all gravitate when we come home at the end of the day. The garden is such a peaceful spot and has amazing views of the countryside. The sunsets are incredible and, with a vast expanse of sky to enjoy almost every day, it feels as if we’re on top of the world.” Three miles away is the ancient market town of Moreton-in-Marsh with its mainline station from Worcester to Paddington providing a regular commuting route into central London (only an hour and 40 minutes away). The town is famous for its historic buildings and Tuesday market, providing an ideal shopping centre for day-to-day needs. Closer still is the village shop at Longborough, a community supported by a primary school, an active church and popular pubs, with many beautiful walks onto surrounding countryside.
Tom Burdett, Branch Manager of HARRISON & HARDIE, Fine & Country in Moreton in Marsh, says: “Ganborough House addresses the wish list of anyone seeking a quintessential Cotswold property – a substantial, detached, period home presented in lovely decorative order with the potential to create yet more space, enjoying a delightful, traditional garden and beautiful far-reaching views, situated in a wonderful location at the heart of the North Cotswolds.” Mat Faraday, of Character Cottages, says: This imposing home has been beautifully refurbished to meet the requirements of the most discerning holiday-makers. With stunning rural views from many rooms, it has immense character. The heart of the house is the beautiful kitchen, ideal for dining as a large party. Including the annexe and downstairs bedroom it will sleep 8 -10 guests; the cellar and the separate studio room could be a playroom or home gym. Situated on the A424, it is perfectly placed for exploring the whole Cotswold region – better still it is within walking distance of The Coach & Horses pub - and nearby Longborough is a great village for holiday-makers, especially during the opera festival. We estimate approximately £45,000 to £50,000 per annum of gross revenue.”
“The kitchen is the heart of our home - the large oak beams and original flagstones make the room feel so warm and comfortable - it’s the place where we all gravitate when we come home at the end of the day.”
To find out more about Ganborough House and to arrange an appointment to view, simply contact Tom on 01608 651000. To download a brochure with full particulars and floor plan, go to the Fine & Country section of HARRISON & HARDIE’s property list on www.cotswoldhomes.com.
HOT PROPERTY - ASK THE EXPERTS
Ask the experts
Legal Issues Simon Thomas
Bordering our garden is a 10-panel wooden fence belonging to our neighbours - for 20 years, I have regularly treated the panels on our side but recently, the neighbours have fitted four replacement panels of a different design and colour that stick out like a sore thumb. They say the new panels are not to be treated, as this would invalidate a 15-year guarantee. Can we do anything? First, check the legal boundary line. You could then erect your own fence alongside the existing one, with your preferred choice of colour. Alternatively, you could speak to your neighbour and offer to cover any costs arising as a result of your working on his fence and invalidating his guarantee. You could ask the fence company for consent to do the painting work. If it agrees, this won’t invalidate the warranty. Try to resolve
establish a legal right through prior “established” use of the passageway. You should consult your solicitor without further delay to assert your rights. In the first case, a formal letter to your neighbour asking them to stop blocking your access could well do the trick. I live in a one bedroom flat that I wish to convert to two bedrooms, two bathrooms. The lease says I need my freeholder’s consent to alter the interior although such permission may not unreasonably be withheld. The freeholder coincidentally a neighbour in the same building - suggests a fee of £5,000 to £10,000 for his agreement. Do I have to pay him by law and, if so, what is an appropriate sum? Your landlord cannot charge you for granting his consent - your request should be considered on purely
“You’ll also need to obtain building regulations approval for the works and ensure that the building’s insurer is informed”
We have an alleyway at the back of our house that is not shown in our deeds to be owned by anybody in particular but we use regularly. One of our neighbours persistently blocks the entrance so we can’t take delivery of large items, for example. What action can we take?
practical and fair grounds. Have floor plans drawn up showing precisely how the flat will be laid out, along with a schedule of work, requesting that the landlord consider and approve these in a timely manner, failing which he may well be in breach of his duties. You’ll also need to obtain building regulations approval for the works and ensure that the building’s insurer is informed. Should the landlord continue to demand payment, it would be worth contacting a solicitor.
Although you say your deeds show that you do not own the alleyway, it is worth re-reading these, as they may contain rights of usage to the alleyway. If so, then any prevention cannot be justified and a court injunction may be obtained ordering your neighbour to stop blocking your right of way. Even if your deeds do not specify any formal right, you may still be able to
Simon Thomas is a partner in the Thomas Legal Group, an established practice serving the North Cotswolds specialising in property-related matters, with sister offices in London.. To speak to Simon, telephone 01452 657950 or visit www.thomaslegalgroup.co.uk for more information about the company
the issue without legal involvement — boundary disputes are notorious money pits.
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HOT PROPERTY - ASK THE EXPERTS
Ask the experts
Mortgage Matters Sue Ellis
I realise that the Bank Of England Base Rate has been at a record low for a considerable time now and I have been told that there has never been such a good time to fix my mortgage rate – is this good advice or should I wait for more competitive products to come to the market? As you rightly say, the Bank of England Base Rate has been stuck at 0.50% since March 2009 – by far the greatest period of time that it has remained static for at least the last forty years. No one, not even the leading economists, could have honestly predicted that it was going to stay at this level for such a long time. Opinion seems no less divided amongst industry experts as to what will be the likely change in the base rate over the next two to three years. Some are now predicting a cut in the rate, something that would seem unbelievable to most people – down to
out, it might be wise to grab hold of it. Borrowing is historically cheap at the present time, no matter what the future holds. This advice is especially true for those sitting on standard variable rates that can and are being raised at the whim of lenders, no matter how baffling to borrowers considering the 0.50% Bank of England base rate. Some lenders have just increased their base rates again, most recently Santander when it announced a 0.5 per cent hike in its Standard Variable Rate to 4.74 per cent from October 2012. Such inexplicable rises come just as we are hearing about record-low rates - confusing or what! As one respected commentator says, ‘The underlying reality is that rates have fallen, but lenders don’t want to be too competitive - until the competing not to compete situation ends, it’s likely we will see plenty more
“Others are saying that they predict no increase until at least 2017 but, of course, all this is speculation to a degree and none of us have a crystal ball!” 0.25% within the next 12 months - with an increase back to 0.50% around 2017. Others are saying that they predict no increase until at least 2017 but, of course, all this is speculation to a degree and none of us have a crystal ball! This brings considerable difficulty in answering your question to fix now or hold out and see if rates fall still further, when seemingly those in the know don’t know, either – we can only work on the ‘here and now’ and accept that all things are possible longer term in a domestic market that is so heavily influenced these days by the global economy. It is impossible to advise you specifically in this short piece, but generally if you see a deal being advertised that would apply to your particular situation in terms of borrowing against value – (LTV in mortgage speak) - and you feel you would be disappointed to miss
chopping and changing’. There are, of course, many caveats to consider beyond the lender’s rates, including arrangement and valuation fees and other hidden costs, so please seek independent advice to discuss any aspect of your chosen new mortgage, when a qualified and experienced advisor can look specifically at what is right for you against other products that are currently available in the marketplace. It is always worth taking enough time to consider all the options before jumping! Sue Ellis works alongside Johnny Magee as a Mortgage Broker at Jem Financial Planning. The team has 43 years’ experience in investment, retirement and inheritance planning, mortgages, protection and general insurance. To speak to Sue or Johnny, telephone 01386 840777 or visit www.johnny-magee.co.uk.
HOT PROPERTY - ASK THE EXPERTS
Ask the experts
Structurally Sound Robert Hamilton
Recently, I inherited my auntâ€™s cottage - I have many happy memories but a very limited purse for repairs and maintenance. What should I know before deciding to keep it or to sell? Period properties are worth the effort and expense for the joy one feels to live in a beautiful place full of history and family memories. Here are my ten top tips to help you make your decision! 1. Listing If listed, the Heritage Officer will need to be consulted before any alterations. Donâ€™t be put off! The Heritage Office is happy to advise so consult early rather than risk a penalty for inappropriate works. 2. Chimney Chimneys cause heat loss and big energy costs if not used, so ensure unused chimneys are capped or restricted by flue balloons. 3. Roof There are now many skilled roofers used to working with traditional methods - get a quote from a reputable, experienced craftsman as repairs can run into thousands but using original materials, rather than artificial tiles, will enhance the value of your home. 4. Foundations Many period houses, particularly former barns, do not have foundations or footings, relying on large stones placed flat, leading to massively thick walls. Once heated, a thick walled, period property with small windows is actually very cosy. 5. Floors Often stone slabs are laid straight upon earth! Whether to restore or not may depend on budget and type of property but under-floor heating is often effective. Remember that timber floors will tend to shrink if overheated.
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6. Damp Physical damp proof courses are unusual but can be inserted, depending upon the type of wall. Usually, sensible heating and ventilation will keep penetrating damp at bay. In fact stone, cob or earth walls need to be a little damp to preserve the components. 7. Woodworm and other beetle infestation If effective treatment has been carried out your aunt will have kept the relevant documentation. Treatment intervals are usually 25 years. 8. Flooding In fact, period homes are less likely to be at risk of flooding or natural events. Houses were built in sensible places when there were fewer of them! But check, because insurance can be a problem. 9. Energy consumption The Heritage Office may frown on double-glazing but blanket-lined curtains, warm rugs and wall hangings will conserve heat. Put radiators in the most effective places. An Aga will provide lovely background warmth and economical cooking whilst adding character to your home. 10. Insurance Period houses can be an issue with ordinary companies - specialist brokers should be approached and often are cheaper than High Street chains! Central Surveying has offices in the Cotswolds and Knightsbridge, specialising in independent professional surveying and property consultancy services for commercial and residential clients in the Cotswolds, South West and London. Robert Hamilton works from Naunton in the heart of the North Cotswolds. To contact Robert, telephone 01451 850183 or visit the www.centralsurveying.co.uk.
HOT PROPERTY - ASK THE EXPERTS
Ask the experts
Planning Matters Les Burton
My neighbours are delighted by an unexpected carte blanche on planning regulations – they have started drawing up plans for a positively carbuncular extension! Should I be worried? The government’s planning reform proposals are designed to improve the planning system within the UK and to give a boost to the economy. Any improvement is to be applauded but how these changes will affect the Cotswolds is very much an issue. The actual changes are not clear at the moment and may take some time to become law but I understand why you feel anxious. The very thought of ill-considered structures being quickly thrown up with no thought for neighbours or the effect on the local area brings out the Nimby in all of us!
further relaxation is based upon widening the range of Householder permitted development rights for a 12-month period - most properties have some permitted development rights that already sit within the Local Planning Authority guidelines, in any case. We are very lucky to be able to live in this beautiful area typified by its rolling green landscape and historic honey-coloured buildings. Many homes are already listed by English Heritage and cannot be touched without express consent whilst most of the Cotswolds is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Given the very special nature of our heritage, it is highly unlikely that the Planning Rules will be relaxed to the extent popular press headlines would have it. The Local Authorities will strongly resist any such free-for-all.
Many homes are already listed by the English Heritage Office and cannot be touched without express consent whilst most of the Cotswolds is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Localism Act of 2011 and the National Planning Policy Framework became effective in March 2012 - however, it has a long way to go to make a system truly easy to use and “Fit for Purpose”. It has proved effective with larger projects that are substantially supported by the residents within communities, who now have the power to circumvent the historic planning system and invoke the intentions of the Government’s Localism Act. For example, as the appointed practice for the new village shop in Blockley our brief was to design a new building on a small piece of land within the village - our proposal went against several existing policies and was strongly opposed by Council officers. However, with the substantial support of the Blockley community, the proposed scheme was granted Full Planning Approval. The notion behind government proposals for a
In broad terms, I believe the changes will have virtually no effect on ordinary Cotswoldian homes the Planning Department will still have a substantial say in what can and cannot be built. I would politely tell your neighbours (and anybody considering an extension) that they should still seek guidance from a suitably qualified architect and discuss their outline plans with Planning Officers at the earliest possible stage. Les Burton is a director in Randell Burton Architects, RIBA Chartered Architects based in the Cotswolds with wide experience in carrying out works to traditional, vernacular and Listed Buildings. For more information visit www.randellburton.co.uk, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or speak directly to Les Burton on 01608 644573.
Town Mouse to Country House...?
â€œThe lay-out of the rooms is part of its immense charm, some with oak flooring and open fireplaces to provide the character you are seeking, and with an extension to the sitting room that has created yet more space and a lighter atmosphere.â€?
Cotswold Homes Magazine
Motivated by your excellent state secondary schools we are moving our family from London to the North Cotswolds. We need access to Stratford Upon Avon so that my daughter can apply for entry to the grammar school and yet within striking distance of the Worcester-Paddington line to get back to the city for work. We have a maximum budget of £600,000 for a traditional village property that will satisfy our desire to be country rather than town mice! We have no doubt that our friends will want to visit, so we need plenty of space for our city guests on their weekends in the country.
scenery in an idyllic village with a strong sense of community. Ilmington is a large, beautifully unspoilt village situated beneath the Ilmington Downs,with intertwining lanes of stone houses and thatched cottages that meander around a traditional village green. Well provided with a primary school, inns and an ancient church, the village celebrates a rich diary of events throughout the calendar for all ages and interests. Best of all, its position gives easy access to three counties - the town of Moreton with the main line station to Paddington is only a fifteen-minute drive away, Stratford a similar distance in the opposite direction – and a shopping centre for day-to-day can be found in nearby Shipston on Stour.
Lucy Dicks is a sales negotiator in Harrison & Hardie Fine & Country’s Moreton in Marsh office. She suggests a well-proportioned detached village home with a wealth of character features - Rana House, situated in Ilmington on the northern edge of the North Cotswolds, offered at £599,950. ‘Rana House is a home that provides history, style and character, situated amongst lovely
From the moment you cross the threshold into the open flag-stoned hallway with its impressive open staircase, Rana House has such an inviting and homely feel to greet you and a sense of belonging that carries you further inside. The lay-out of the rooms is part of its immense charm, some with oak flooring and open fireplaces to provide the character you are seeking, and with an extension to the sitting room that has created yet more space and a lighter atmosphere. The quality of the interior is enhanced by the kitchen, installed by Smallbone of Devizes, giving an elegance and grandeur perfect for entertaining whilst a studio offers great
flexibility - easily transformed into an office, study or snug, it would provide an ideal occasional bedroom for your London visitors wishing to join you for a weekend in the Cotswolds! The garden has been designed with love and pride and offers two terraces with outdoor “rooms” - to play or relax and to simply enjoy the sunshine. There is a summerhouse - ideal for your daughter to create a playhouse or for your guests to enjoy a cup of coffee whilst reading the Sunday newspapers - and a decked area for summer barbeques. Beautiful open countryside unfolds across fields – Ilmington Downs enjoy panoramic views across three counties and is always a pleasure, no matter the season. There are some lovely walks to be taken from the house with crisscrossing bridal ways and footpaths offering many opportunities for time outdoors, as you embrace your life as country mice!’ To find full details of Rana House, visit www.cotswold-homes.com click on the Fine & Country section of HARRISON & HARDIE, or to arrange an appointment to view, simply contact Lucy Dicks on 01608 651000.
Set on the outskirts of the village of Little Wolford on the way to Chipping Norton, completely hidden behind a row of dense evergreen trees, sits Bedlam House. Originally built as staff accommodation and attached to a lodge belonging to the manor, it was sold off in 2004 in a state of considerable disrepair. Krissie Partridge remembers stepping over the threshold and seeing beyond the small, pokey rooms and gloomy interior to her vision of her home as it is today – a glorious, brightly lit, beautiful, spacious home looking out onto a child’s dream of a garden, with broad lawns graced by mature trees, bordered by woodland and rolling, open farmland.
“It was hard work and it took a very long time, living with a tiny infant in uncomfortable, 60 Cotswold Homes Magazine
cold and dusty conditions whilst the work was carried out, but the end result is exactly what I hoped to achieve,” says Krissie. “My favourite part of the build was when the new kitchen finally went in – it was such luxury!”
The showcase open-plan ground floor is testament to her powers of imagination. Over 570 square feet is now given over to open living space, double glazed doors at either end, a well-designed kitchen to one side with a huge wooden topped island as its centrepiece. In the main part of the room, mullioned leaded light windows and wide polished floorboards give traditional character, softened and warmed by oriental rugs and vast, comfortable sofas – it is a very sociable room, simple and informal - a large dining table sits ready for guests at a moment’s notice.
“It’s such a lovely environment to bring up a family – the garden is an absolute joy and the surrounding countryside is wonderful for long walks.
Bedlam House is offered for sale at £535,000, through the HARRISON & HARDIE offices at Moreton in Marsh. Branch Manager Tom Burdett advises getting in quickly to view. “Properties of this nature don’t come up often,” he says. “It’s a really interesting proposition for a wide range of potential buyers, equally for a family, a professional or retired couple, or as a second home.” Andy Soye, of Character Cottages, believes it would make a great holiday let, too. “If the ground floor playroom is converted into a fifth bedroom, it could easily generate around £55,000 per annum in gross revenue. It’s ideal for two families wishing to take a holiday together, for example, with a wonderful garden surrounded by open countryside to explore.”
“This is a great party house, particularly at Christmas when we have plenty of room for all our family and friends, with four good bedrooms upstairs. There is a big playroom beyond this room that could be opened up – we gained planning permission for an extension running as an L-shape into the garden, but I am done now,” she laughs. “I quite like the idea of a house that needs no work, next time, no matter how wonderful to see this project to fruition!
Her best bit about living here? “It’s such a lovely environment to bring up a family – the garden is an absolute joy and the surrounding countryside is wonderful for long walks. Accessibility is fantastic to Stratford, the Cotswolds and Oxfordshire – you can bury yourself away or invite lots of friends. It has been a pleasure to create something that works on so many different levels.“
For full particulars and a floor plan, Bedlam House, visit www. cotswold-homes.com where the property can be found on the HARRISON & HARDIE section, or simply call Tom on 01608 651000 to arrange an appointment to view.
QUINTESSENTIAL NORTH COTSWOLDS
Quintessential North Cotswolds â€“ Sundial Barn, Broadwell And Rushdale, Naunton
Situated on the edge of one of the most favoured North Cotswoldsâ€™ villages, Sundial Barn in Broadwell is set within the grounds of Old Quinmoor Farm - a small, select development that was completed in the early 90s. Its handsome exterior - complete with traditional, stone-tiled gabled roof - still retains much of the character and appearance of the original barn whilst inside, the property has been converted to make good use of the excellent ground floor space with a large sitting room, separate dining room and traditionally fitted kitchen-breakfast room, all flooded with light. Upstairs, three wellproportioned bedrooms with quaintly sloping ceilings and gabled windows are set prettily into the eaves. Rushdale, in Naunton, is a period cottage dating back some four hundred years that has been lovingly converted to provide a stylish home of immense character - exposed beams, flagstone floors, two inglenook fireplaces fitted with woodburning stoves and a broad staircase with ancient, polished treads leading to two pretty bedrooms set into the eaves. The large cottage garden is a perfect suntrap surrounded by a dry Cotswold stone wall to provide considerable privacy, with a 64
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QUINTESSENTIAL NORTH COTSWOLDS
James von Speyr, principal director at Harrison & Hardie, Fine & Country, explains why the villages are amongst the sought-after locations in the North Cotswolds: “Broadwell is an enchanting village with a wide, sweeping green bordered by a shallow stream and surrounded by picturepostcard period stone cottages and grander houses, the ancient Fox inn at one edge. Period properties command large sums and rarely come to the market – only a mile or so from Stow and four miles from Moreton, situated at a good distance from the main Fosseway, it is an oasis of peace, the quintessence of desirable village life yet with all the amenities and facilities of two towns within a stone’s throw. One of the most picturesque villages in the North Cotswolds, Naunton follows a long stretch of the river Windrush – looking down from the height of the old road to Cheltenham the village below seems unreal, a chocolate box film set nestled amongst steeply rising gallops and glorious countryside. Following the narrow winding road into the village the way is flanked with stone cottages, a dovecote folly, an ancient church, tiny lanes – dog walkers and horses making for the hills - and at its centre a pub serving local Donnington ales, The Black Horse. It is everyone’s vision of what country life should entail.”
separate solidly built timber home-office / garden room and summerhouse with loo, insulated with skimmed walls, perfect for occasional guests in summer.” Andy Soye, of Character Cottages, thinks both locations would be great for holiday letting. “Sundial Barn in Broadwell is a beautifully presented, warm, cosy and inviting home set in gorgeous manicured gardens with a double garage that is ideal for higher end holiday lets, easily sleeping 6 adults. Broadwell is a real treasure of a village with a local pub and village green – what more could a weary holidaymaker dream of?! Around £35,000 to £40,000 per annum in gross revenue is achievable, I estimate. “Rushdale Barn is a wonderful Cotswold home, rich in classic period features and offering an abundance of space. The large garden is excellent for kids to explore whilst the annexe is ideal for grandparents to escape at the end of the day! Naunton is a sought-after holiday location situated at the foot of the Cotswold hills for those lovely country walks, with an all-important pub! Assuming the annexe is converted for occasional sleeping use, the property will be very successful – I estimate £40,000 per annum in gross revenue.”
“Naunton is a sought-after holiday location situated at the foot of the Cotswold hills for those lovely country walks, with an allimportant pub!”
Sundial Barn is offered to the market at £499,950 and Rushdale at £450,000. Floor plans and full details of both properties can be found on www. cotswold-homes.com. For more information and to arrange an appointment to view, telephone the Bourton on the Water office on 01451 822977 to view Rushdale or the Moreton office on 01608 651000 to view Sundial Barn.
Tregan Cottage and toad hall
Tregan Cottage and Toad Hall
Perfect Cotswold Cottages
The historic town of Stow on the Wold is prime territory for a holiday cottage. Situated within stunning countryside in the centre of the North Cotswolds and yet easily accessible (with London only an hour and half away by train from Kingham station) the town has so much to offer. It has become rather fashionorientated over recent times - along with the renowned boutique, high-end independent stores that include The Frock Shop, Little Black Dress, Foundation, Brocks and The Square, the most recent addition is a Fat Face store. Of course, Stow has long been famed for antique shops, gift shops and delicatessens, with a host of tea-rooms, coffee houses and ancient coaching inns that have served an important meeting and trading post since Roman times; a roaring trade in sheep during medieval times produced the 68
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Tregan Cottage and toad hall
beautiful, wide market square and period stone buildings of immense charm jostling at its edges. Stow has never lost its busy, timeless appeal to visitors and locals alike – it is the jewel in the crown of the local property market. We asked Leigh Glazebrook, Senior Sales Manager for Stow on the Wold at HARRISON & HARDIE Fine & Country, to find us two properties within our budget of £350,000 to £400,000, equally suitable as a main or second home. Leigh says: “Just off the square in Stow on the Wold, situated within walking distance but enjoying a secluded location, is Toad Hall, offered to the market at £329,950. This double fronted period cottage is equally suited for a holiday home or for a main home, with two reception rooms, a kitchen, cellar and three bedrooms, plus a southerly facing garden and parking, all presented in lovely order and with bags of traditional character. “A mile from Stow in the lovely hamlet
of Lower Swell, on the lane leading to the Slaughters is Tregan Cottage, offered at £385,000. This has lovely kerb appeal and a beautiful interior - recently refurbished, with a farmhouse style kitchen/breakfast room, a cosy sitting room and two more floors above, each with a bedroom en-suite. The top floor bedroom suite is open plan with a roll-top bath, just right for a long soak with a Cadbury’s Flake! There is even a secret garden beyond the paved drinks terrace – it is perfect for a getaway from city life.”
Andy Soye, of Character Cottages, says: “Toad Hall is a lovely, traditional, doublefronted cottage with roses around the door – as such, it is bound to attract a great deal of interest simply from the photo alone. With flexible living space, three bedrooms and parking, and all the amenities of Stow on the doorstep, it will generate a handsome income, somewhere in the region of £30,000 gross revenue per annum. “Tregan Cottage has stylish outside space and an ideal ground floor layout for holiday-makers. The beautiful finish will appeal to the luxury end of the market – the location is very well suited to guests who want the bustle of Stow but the taste of village life. With the Golden Ball pub only a short walk from the front door, it would generate great demand. Marketed as a luxury five star cottage, it could fetch in excess of £26,000 in gross revenue per annum.”
“Toad Hall is a lovely, traditional, double-fronted cottage with roses around the door – as such, it is bound to attract a great deal of interest simply from the photo alone.”
Full details of both properties offered through HARRISON & HARDIE Fine & Country can be found on www. cotswold-homes.com. To arrange an appointment to view on either property, simply telephone Leigh on 01451 822977 Toad Hall
Bobble Court Built as part of a working farm in the late 1600s, 1 Bobble Court Little Rissington has many beautiful features, with a huge inglenook fireplace, exposed oak beams and mullioned windows set into thick Cotswold stone walls. The three bedroom property is situated at the heart of a tiny hillside village close to the famous tourist destination of Bourton on the Water, one of four surrounding communities known collectively as The Rissingtons. Graced with lovely farmland on all sides and wonderful walks, nearby Great Rissington’s Lamb Inn is a useful stopping point for a pint and a delicious pub lunch! The house is well-suited for a commute to London with the mainline station at Kingham only a few minutes drive away, taking an hour and half from there to Paddington.
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Peter and Averil Bills have lived in the property for fifteen years and have loved every minute. “My work often takes us out of the country but it is always a pleasure to return home,” says Peter.
“We have enhanced and refurbished the interior over time, always ensuring that the character of the house remains intact. The country style kitchen-breakfast room is welcoming and friendly and, for more formal occasions, we are blessed with an elegant dining room - it’s a special place for entertaining family and friends. We sit at our large table by candlelight and, with a lovely fire roaring away in the inglenook fireplace, it becomes a very magical occasion. Friends and family are always welcome - the house just seems to embrace Christmas when the family gather together, relaxing by the log fire in the sitting room or taking a brisk restorative walk in nearby countryside.” The outside space in warmer months is small and private, easily maintained and planted with sweet smelling herbs to provide the ultimate gin-and-tonic terrace. “We have created a stylish paved courtyard using local stone. Lavender and other plants give perfume and colour, so this space is perfect for quiet relaxation with glass in hand! Whether it’s sitting doing nothing, walking through the country lanes or visiting the many attractions around and about, it really has been a fabulous home.”
“The country style kitchen-breakfast room is welcoming and friendly and, for more formal occasions, we are blessed with an elegant dining room - it’s a special place for entertaining family and friends.” Katy Hill, from the Bourton on the Water office of HARRISON & HARDIE, Fine & Country, believes this is a great holiday home. “This property has so much space and character, ideal for someone wanting an easy escape from the rigours of working life, a sociable and comfortable place that friends will love to visit for a long weekend!” Mat Faraday of Character Cottages, agrees. “A Cotswold cottage packed with Grade II listed character, including a large inglenook fireplace, beams and mullions, providing that rich Cotswold experience, ideal for walks and only a short drive from Stow, Bourton and other key amenities, could generate around £35,000 of annual gross revenue.”
To arrange an appointment to view, contact Katy on 01451 822977. To download a brochure with full particulars and floor plan, go to the Fine & Country section of HARRISON & HARDIE’s property list on www.cotswold-homes.com.
Milton Dental Practice
Dental Health Matters
Serious threats to health caused by gum disease – new research points to strong links between gum health and life-threatening conditions including premature birth. “Treating the symptoms of gum disease is particularly important in pregnant women, as it appears to raise the blood levels of the chemicals that start labour.” Such statistics make uncomfortable reading – what can you do to ensure that you don’t put your health or the health of your unborn baby at risk? Talk to your dentist or for further information and references, visit the British Dental Health Foundation Website: “Tell me about - Healthy gums and healthy body”.
Dr Trevor Bigg, Milton Dental Practice BDS, MGDS RCS(Eng), FDS RCS(Ed), FFGDP(UK)
Gum disease has been described as swelling, soreness or infection of the tissues supporting the teeth but it is normally pain-free, so patients can be unaware that they have the disease. It makes common sense that healthy gums must be better for the body’s health in general, not only because strong, firm teeth are better at chewing the fibrous foods that are good for you, but also because long-standing infection anywhere in the body can eventually damage the body’s natural defence system. In the last few years, however, significant research has suggested an even closer link between gum disease and many serious life-threatening conditions including heart disease, strokes, diabetes and lung disease – it is even thought to cause premature and low birth-weight babies. Dentists have known for some time that when we chew, bacteria enter the blood supply and travel round the body - the worse the gum disease, the greater the number of bacteria entering the blood - proteins from these bacteria can cause the blood to clot. This affects the blood supply to the heart and the brain, leading to blocked blood vessels and a greater risk of heart disease and strokes. Some lung disease, such as bacterial pneumonia, 76
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At Milton Dental Practice, for example, we employ two excellent hygienists, Helen and Katie. With their help, and our patients’ dedication, we’ve managed to improve the gum health of nearly all our patients, so don’t worry, just take early action and put your fears at rest. for example, is likely to be caused by breathing in droplets containing bacteria from the mouth and throat. As infected gums contain more bacteria, this increases the chance of getting lung disease. Meanwhile, diabetes affects 2.5 million people in the UK. This disease, left uncontrolled, increases the risk of infection and reduces the body’s ability to heal because one of the body’s building blocks, collagen, is manufactured more slowly in diabetics. Collagen is essential for the healing of gum disease and uncontrolled diabetes may affect this process. Treating the symptoms of gum disease is particularly important in pregnant women, as it appears to raise the blood levels of the chemicals that start labour. Pregnant women with untreated gum disease are three times more likely to have a premature and low birth-weight baby, with a one-infour chance that a pregnant woman with untreated gum disease will give birth before 35 weeks.
We all know how regular check-ups can prevent tooth decay - the same is true for your general health. There is a good chance you can improve your general health if you take care of your oral health. So, overcome your reluctance to sit in the dentist’s chair! Make an appointment to check how your healthy your gums are, especially if it’s a while since you have visited! Dr. Bigg has the Membership in General Dental Surgery from the Royal College of Surgeons, London, the Fellowship in Dental Surgery from the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh and London and the Fellowship of the Pierre Fauchard Academy. He is Past President of the British Society for General Dental Surgery and was presented the ‘Straumann Award for Oustanding Achievements in the field of Dentistry.To arrange an appointment, visit www.drbigg. com, and see the Privilege Card section (p 111)
ss e c c u S r o Fit f for Personal Best Get set
Cotswold Homes’ fitness and health columnist Tim Spittle has been extremely busy in the last year! When he launched his gym Rapid FX in Draycott, he quickly gained many enthusiastic clients for a wide variety of classes especially the much-feted Boot Camps, which have been a massive success. Despite an overwhelmingly busy schedule, nevertheless Tim has still found enough time for romance, marrying Amy Nicholson after a whirlwind courtship on a fine, sunny day this May, to the cheers of friends and family. Amy has lost no time, either, in matching her husband's entrepreneurial spirit - planning their second gym was an easy decision! We caught up with the newly-weds shortly after they celebrated the launch of Personal Best Fitness Studio In Chipping Campden.
CH In the last article you wrote for the magazine, Tim, you focused on the rise in popularity of Boot Camps. What is it like to run one? TS Boot Camps are ideal opportunities to take all of our training expertise, mix it up and offer the ultimate training experience. It is so much fun and so uplifting watching people achieve their personal goals, overcome their nightmares and excelling in a way they didn’t think possible. On a recent visit to Xabia in Spain, one client surfed, cycled and climbed a mountain, when previously all of those would have left her quaking in her
CH Congratulations on your new gym! How did the launch go? AN We have had a great response in launching our fitness studio. We were really clear what we wanted to achieve - clean fresh styling and a warm friendly atmosphere, a world away from the archetypal sweatbox gym or noisy leisure centre – and it has come together just as we envisaged. The studio has attracted lots of interest from all ages - ranging from children wanting to have fun with exercise right up to senior clients requiring specific attention to health and postural issues, and of course, young men and women who want to stay in shape. CH Is this studio significantly different from your established model? TS Personal Best will take on our proven techniques and training regimes from Rapid FX - quite simply, they work! However many of the clients will be different, so we will be offering a wider spectrum of exciting training mediums. We also have a new layout, some different equipment and therefore the ability to offer more variety, too.
boots. I think this is where we truly come into our own as personal trainers. CH Do you have any plans for Boot Camps in the near future? AN Yes, our Boot Camps really are unbeatable for what we can achieve with our clients - quite simply they get everyone fitter, trimmer and better at exercise so quickly. The camps set the endorphins soaring and leave clients on such a high. Next year we plan to offer Spring and Autumn Beach Camps and wellness weekends, offering sea sport, beach, mountain, cycling, running for all abilities, yoga, tennis, golf and spa days... wow, what a package - I can’t wait! CH The biggest problem for anyone in real need of exercise, ironically, is the thought of revealing a flabby torso to a row of beautifully honed bods! How do you overcome that? TS It is always a problem to convince new people that they need not worry about others who may have worked out for the last ten years. We feel our ability to overcome these fears is part of why we are unique: we offer such support. For all those potential clients who fear they just can't be seen unfit and out of shape in the gym, we quite simply take their hand, focus on their needs and then stand by them all the way!
''On a recent visit to Xabia in Spain, one client surfed, cycled and climbed a mountain, when previously all of those would have left her quaking in her boots. I think this is where we truly come into our own as personal trainers.''
AN This is what we do best - ironically no one ever judges anyone else, everyone (even the fit folk) are too focused on their own exercise regimes. New clients soon find that everyone started at the beginning in the same shoes – our existing clients feel nothing but admiration for those who have the determination and courage to give it a go! So for anyone who is out of shape, don’t worry, just give it a try and we promise, you won’t look back! Personal Best Fitness Studio, Chipping Campden Phone: 01386 840437 Email: email@example.com Web: www.pbfitnessstudio.com Address: 2c Cutts Yard, The Cambrook Court, High Street GL55 6AT Chipping Campden Rapid-FX Personal Fitness, Draycott nr. Moreton-in-Marsh Phone: 01386 701231 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.rapid-fx.com Address: RapidFX Personal Fitness, Unit 6, Draycott Business Village, Draycott, Moreton-in-Marsh, GL56 9DY www.cotswold-homes.com
MEETING M.C BEATON
Meeting M.C. Beaton It’s the 20th anniversary of Agatha Raisin, a Cotswold-based private detective with an expensive wardrobe and a complicated love life. To commemorate the occasion, we chat to her creator, best-selling author and national treasure MC Beaton…
Hello Marion! So, tell us about your two new Agatha Raisin books, Hiss and Hers and Christmas Crumble. What sort of predicaments will Agatha find herself in? Well, Agatha’s always very precious over some man, and in Hiss or Hers, she’s chasing a very good-looking gardener, who has been in and out of the Army and was wounded in Afghanistan. In order to trap him she arranges this charity ball, but he doesn’t turn up – she goes to his cottage and finds him dead in a compost heap with a bag of adders tied over his head. Christmas Crumble is a short story in which Agatha, who is always seeking the perfect Christmas, decides to hold a Christmas do for six old people in the village – the ‘crumblies’. It ends in disaster with one of the guests dropping dead. And I’m afraid I don’t want to reveal any more than that! Death by adders sounds unpleasant. What’s been your favourite murder within the Agatha Raisin series? I can’t really say. I suppose it’s the first one, the poisoned quiche in The Quiche of Death – that started it all off, you see! You worked for a while as a crime reporter. Did this have any influence on your fiction? I worked on the Scottish Daily Express in Glasgow before moving to Fleet Street as a general reporter, where I then became chief woman reporter on the Daily Express. As far as crime reporting jobs go, I covered the razor gangs and some other very violent crimes – nasty, brutal and short: not much to do with my fiction as there was very little detective work going on. But it’s a very British pastime, the idea of justice being done. Real life police investigations are very painstaking and slow, but 78
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‘It’s a very British pastime, the idea of justice being done…’
of course when you’re writing, things have to move within a much shorter time frame. Do you still see yourself as a city girl, or are you now a confirmed Cotswoldian? That was the thing with the first book, The Quiche of Death [wherein Agatha moves from London to the Cotswolds]. Years ago my son, who was going
to Oxford University, said to us: ‘Why don’t you rent in the Cotswolds?’ So we moved and then, of course, he went off to Cambridge! I remember looking at all these hills through the fog and thinking that there was a probably a splendid party going on over on the other side, to which I hadn’t been invited. And then, when the time came to go back up to London, I suddenly felt as though I no longer
MEETING M.C BEATON
belonged: I couldn’t wait to get on the train [back to the Cotswolds]. It’s beautiful everywhere you look – particularly at the moment. It’s like driving through a series of English landscape paintings.
public loses interest. And then the best thing to do is to stop immediately. One of the reasons people like Agatha is that she’s a bit un-P.C, she’s a bit flawed…
Agatha’s village, Carsley, is a fictional village, but places like Stow-on-the-Wold and Moreton-inMarsh make cameo appearances. What Cotswold location is dearest to your heart?
I’m afraid that’s me. I smoke and would like a mink coat! [laughs].
It’s always better to write about a fictional village. For some reason, people always seem to think that you’ve included them, but I would never put someone real into a book. My favourite village, though, is Blockley. Definitely Blockley.
She says the things I would like to say, but never have the courage…
We’ve seen a lot of online debate over which of Agatha’s lovers she should end up with. Do you have a romantic resolution in mind for her? Ah, that’s the thing, you see: I don’t know! It just happens. Wouldn’t it be sad, in a way, if she settled? I think in a way it probably would be. It wouldn’t fit very well with her character – the character of someone who’s always making mistakes. I think the only ending for any detective writer is that the
Is Agatha like her creator, with some of her tendencies?
books were coming out the same time as the television series, with ‘BBC Presents’ and so forth on the covers…The television series was nothing like the books. You know, there’s an American writer named Lawrence Block who does the Bernie Rhodenbarr series, which is all about a Jewish gentleman burglar. When he had an option on those books his agent phoned up and said ‘Guess what? You’ve got a film!’ Well, Block was thrilled, and said ‘Great! So who will be playing my New York Jewish burglar?’ And the agent replied: ‘Whoopi Goldberg.’ And that’s the way it appeared.
Has the idea of an Agatha Raisin television series ever been floated?
Finally, we really like the illustrated Agatha Raisin covers. Do you have a favourite amongst these?
Well, there have been three options taken out among the last options. A lot of detective writers are optioned, but never get to the screen; even if they do, the character is never what you’d expect.
I have to say I think they’ve done a fantastic job with the hardcover of Hiss and Hers.
You weren’t very happy with the adaptation of your Hamish Macbeth books, were you? (BBC Scotland’s Hamish Macbeth ran for three series, starring a young Robert Carlyle in the titular role) I think the thing with that was that the Hamish
‘Agatha Raisin: Hiss and Hers’ is published in hardback by Constable & Robinson and is priced at £14.99. Available at all good bookstores, including the Cotswold Bookstore at Moreton-in-Marsh. ‘Agatha Raisin and the Christmas Crumble’ is published in eBook on 6th of December and is priced at £2.99
‘I think that the only ending for any detective writer is that the public loses interest. And the only thing to do then is to stop immediately.’
THE IMMORTALITY OF SHERLOCK HOLMES With a fresh slew of Sherlock Holmes adaptations hitting our screens, we wonder: why has the public never lost its taste for the Baker Street detective? Here author and Holmes devotee Dr. Paul W. Nash of Oxford University’s Bodleian Library unpicks the icon’s timeless appeal.
Sherlock Holmes never existed. He has died several times, killed first by his creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and later by Doyle’s numerous imitators and interpreters. Yet Holmes seems to be immortal. The recent films and BBC television series with Benedict Cumberbatch attest to the continued life and popularity of the character. Why should this be? It is in that word ‘character’ that Holmes’s appeal and longevity reside. When Doyle created his fictional detective, with almost casual skill, in 1887 he had little idea of the life Holmes would assume. That life was so much out of Doyle’s control by 1893 that he attempted to end it by casting his character into the Reichenbach Falls. But Holmes did not, and would not, die. The appeal of his character is as a strange combination of superman and dysfunctional uncle. Holmes is a thinker, with the ability to concentrate upon a particular question or complex of questions to the exclusion of all other thought. He finds the commonplace business of life irksome and attempts to resist all emotion and sentimentality as antithetical to reason and clear analysis. Like many highlyintelligent individuals, he finds friendships difficult, and the closest relationship we know from the stories is that with his assistant and chronicler Dr Watson. This aspect of Holmes’s character is very well-drawn by Doyle, who indicates that Holmes loves Watson but can only express this at moments of high stress and peril when his powerful will and reserve are moved. The rest of the time he treats his friend with patronising indulgence, polite indifference or outright disdain. There are other shades in Holmes’s character – snobbery, vanity, arrogance, indifference (at times) to the suffering of his fellow men, impatience with those who cannot keep up with his mental sprinting. He feigns modesty, but loves to make a theatrical presentation of his brilliant deductions – which is all to the good,
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from the point of view of the stories. Holmes is also a man of action and physical courage. He boxes and fences well, has knowledge of several mysterious systems of self-defence and no hesitation in taking up a stick or pistol in a fight. He will break the law in a good cause and is inclined to make judgements on his own moral authority. Holmes is not merely a character, however. He is a character in a setting – the detective story, brought to a point of near perfection in Doyle’s hands. Each is a mystery or series of mysteries which seem insoluble, grotesque or absurd, but which Holmes unravels with a mixture of observation and inference, arcane knowledge and physical prowess, revealing at last the solution and how he arrived at it. It is a formula which has been copied by many, many others, including me. Having loved the Holmes stories for many years, I began writing my own and published a new collection of mysteries in 2011, entitled The Remains of Sherlock Holmes. In imitating Doyle’s stories, one has to achieve three essential goals. Firstly, one must conceive a plot, a mystery which seems impossible but is yet susceptible of clever solution. Secondly, one must make the setting and relationships of the characters right. And thirdly, one must write with the true ‘Watsonian voice’, the distinctive style and language of the fictional author. Whether I have achieved these things, I leave others to judge.
“Having loved the Holmes stories for many years, I began writing my own and published a new collection of mysteries in 2011, entitled The Remains of Sherlock Holmes.”
An aged Sherlock, as featured on the cover of ‘The Remains of Sherlock Holmes’
It would be tempting to see the recent blossoming of interest in Sherlock Holmes as indicative of the times, a reaction against the troubles and uncertainties (economic or existential) of the age. But I believe these times are no more conducive to the love of Holmes than any other, and that his character has appealed to every generation since his creation. I suspect the flourishing of Holmes stories in recent years has more to do with the lapsing of Doyle’s English copyright in the year 2000 than it does with any contemporary malaise. Bernard Shaw is said to have remarked, some years ago, that the three most famous names in history were Jesus Christ, Sherlock Holmes and Harry Houdini. If we accept Christ and Houdini as real people, perhaps we can say that Holmes is the most famous fictional character of the past century. And although he never lived, he continues to live. The Remains of Sherlock Holmes is available in hardback at £12.00 from all good bookshops, including the Cotswold Bookstore on the High Street, Moreton-in-Marsh.
A Cotswold Christmas Carol
The passing of 2012, a year of national milestones, also marks the end of Charles Dickens’ bicentenary. It’s been many long years since Dickens gave Christmas a somewhat spookier aspect in A Christmas Carol, where the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge was visited by a procession of spectres, but his ghostly tale of redemption has yet to fade from our imagination. Here we present a selection of the Cotswolds’ best apparitions as our own tribute to a master of storytelling – just don’t go looking for them after dark. Ageing Poltergeist of Chapel Street Stow on the Wold A distinguishing feature of this poltergeist – said in years past to have haunted a particular residence in Stow – is the manifestation of a hand that aged from a baby’s to a man’s in a matter of seconds. Stories suggest a helpful vicar later exorcised the phantom into the church. Folklore has it that there is a subterranean network of buried tunnels underneath the town. The Black Shucks of the Shires Various Locations With a tiny hardcore of enthusiasts determined to prove the existence of a big cat living somewhere near Gloucester, it’s a wonder that people don’t pay attention to the rather more numerous sightings of gigantic, ghostly dogs. These queer canines have been spotted around Gatcombe, Great Rissington, Blockley, Broad Campden and miscellaneous country roads. Even though they often possess glowing green or red eyes, there have been no reported chompings so far. We think. Evil, Eggshell-Faring Fairies Bourton on the Water Imagine fairies as cuddly, wish-granting sprites? Think again. The fairies of yore were much more mischievous, borderline malevolent creatures. It was feared that they used hollowedout eggshells as miniature coracles to cross bodies of water, such as the village’s own River Windrush. Similar goblins appeared in Dickens’ The Pickwick Papers, in a short story that is something of a prototype of A Christmas Carol.
The Devil’s Chimney Leckhampton, Nr. Cheltenham This peculiar stub of limestone, likely a quirk of erosion or a trick left by quarry workers, has been the source of much folklore – most of it concerned with the Devil himself. Depending on what you choose to believe, this is either a vent for the fumes of Hell or Satan’s own seat, where he would perch and throw rocks at the innocent. Reports suggest people actually used to leave coins on top of it to encourage him to remain in the underworld…
The Black Abbot & the Strangling Spectre Prestbury Prestbury has acquired a reputation for spookiness, and the best-known of its ghosts, the Black Abbott, is something of a media darling. Apparently this fellow takes three strolls a year during the church festivals of Christmas, Easter and All Saints Day. Less loved is the town’s resident strangling ghost, who apparently throttles all who displease him.
Ghostly Guardians of Christ’s Blood Hailes Abbey With so many historic sites of religious significance in the Cotswolds, it’s little wonder there have been so many reports of ethereal monks and nuns. What, then, distinguishes the ghostly monks said to be haunting the ruins of Hailes Abbey? Perhaps because a phial of Christ’s blood was said to be kept at the abbey, it may have become a place of pilgrimage, or maybe their custodianship of this holiest of relics extends into the afterlife…Today this cluster of cloister arches makes a peaceful place for a stroll or picnic.
The Living Stones of Rollright Rollright Legends abound around this ancient stone circle, rivalling Stonehenge for antiquity. Some say the stones are the remains of an ambitious king and his retinue of knights, transformed by powerful witch Mother Shipton. Others believe that the stones reassume human form at midnight and go to drink from a nearby stream. This unnatural spectacle is said to drive witnesses to either insanity or death. The site consists of three separate monuments, entitled The King Stone, the King’s Men and the Whispering Knights.
life enhancing gardens Annie Pearce is an award winning garden designer and plantswoman based here in the North Cotswolds. In this month’s article, she shows us how the most un-prepossessing site can be transformed by the use of structure and form, two key elements to consider when designing a garden. As you can see, this garden in Hampstead was in a terrible state when I first saw it, churned up by a seemingly disastrous combination of heavy rain and builders. However, it overlooked wonderful mature trees. so to make the most of this beautiful view, I took inspiration from the elegant and serene water garden at Kiftsgate, where they use clipped yew hedges to not only enclose the space but to also act as a perfect foil to both the contemporary sculpture and the mature trees beyond. So with this in mind, I chose to divide the space up with a series of clipped hedges to create different areas within the garden and within six months it was transformed. As my client loved formality and order we kept everything very simple, but if you’re someone who loves contrasting textures, wild, sensuous planting looks breathtaking against neatly clipped hedges. If you feel you need some more structure in your garden, this is the perfect time to get planting bare root trees, hedging and shrubs. Get them in before Christmas and they’ll have a chance to settle in before spring, but don’t worry if you’re waylaid by other more pressing tasks, the planting season for bare root plants runs until the end of March.
November is also the ideal time to plant your Tulip bulbs so make sure you plant them at least two and a half times their depth and they will reward you with swathes of colour next spring. For further help or advice please call Anne Pierce, Metamorphosis Design 07973 137808 or visit www. anniepearce.co / www.metamorphosisdesign.co.uk
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Fosseway Garden Centre
Get Your Christmas Skates On! Tim Godwin and his team at the Fosseway Garden Centre are prepared for a very busy season with the installation of an ice rink this Christmas. We visit him to find out more! Whether you can’t wait to get the decorations down from the loft on the first day of December or Christmas Eve is firmly the start of your Twelve Day calendar, without a doubt the ceremony of choosing, placing and decorating “The Tree” is when the festive season properly casts its spell over home and family – the warm, evocative sight of a fresh, twinkling fir, hopefully standing straight above a pile of carefully wrapped presents, is a quintessential part of the joy and celebration of Cotswold Christmas. The wonderful ceremony of decorating a tree for Christmas is believed to have started in Renaissance Germany when decorations were originally apples, nuts and dates – until the advent of electricity gave us our modern day fairy lights, candles were used to light the tree, presumably with a bucket of water always close to hand! By the nineteenth century this delightful German custom had been adopted by European nobility - including our own Queen Victoria – now, it is a worldwide practice in almost every household.
A fir tree was traditionally used but there are many different varieties available today in all shapes and sizes - Nordmann Firs, Noble Firs, Lodgepole Pines, Norway and Blue Spruces, to name but a few. Tim says: “The most popular is now the Nordmann Fir with its lush, dark green colour and lovely habit - a wide bottom base evenly tapering to its point, giving off a lovely scent all the way through Christmas. The excellent needle retention and softer foliage means this variety has now overtaken the spruce as the most popular tree, but should you still like the traditional Spruce then try a pot-grown variety - with the right care you won’t have a carpet full of needles each morning!”
Christmas trees were developed in Germany as a response to continuing deforestation - during the nineteenth century they were made using goose feathers that were dyed green, and over the years, other styles of artificial Christmas trees have evolved including aluminum, PVC, fibre-optic and even upside-down trees! Whether your preference is for real or artificial, it is your choice of decorations that will really bring your particular tree to life. There are so many ways to express your personality - do you change your theme each year or stick to your favourite colour scheme? Tim‘s team is on hand to provide help and has come up with a brilliant way to entertain your children whilst you shop.
Tim Godwin confirms that the British passion for real trees is growing fast. “Our Christmas tree tradition is here to stay and demand for real Christmas trees has been steadily rising each year - it is estimated by the British Christmas Tree Growers Association (BCTGA) that in 2011, more than 8.2 million real Christmas trees were sold. The majority of trees are cut down in November to be ready for consumers – so if you love a real tree, make sure not to miss out and place your order with us now!”
”Lucie, our resident Christmas Angel, has created some wonderful trees to give you inspiration, so just pop along to our store to admire her handiwork and make your own choice from an amazing collection of beautiful decorations now available. Whilst you peruse our winter wonderland of all things Christmassy, let the kids be entertained on our ice rink, which will be opening on 24th November throughout the season until the 6th January!”
Of course, if you don’t like the needle drop or are mindful of the environment, an artificial tree may still be your preference. The first artificial
For more information about what the Fosseway Garden Centre has in store, simply visit www.fossewaygardencentre.co.uk. www.cotswold-homes.com
Have a Cotswold Christmas
Cotswold Christmas Our pick of yuletide events
Westonbirt Arboretum’s Enchanted Christmas
Christmas Late Night Shopping Evenings, Broadway
Fancy taking a magical walk through some beautiful natural surroundings? A one-mile illuminated trail will guide intrepid families and visitors around Westonbirt, fondly known as the National Arboretum. The shapes of trees will be thrown into relief by coloured lights, creating an unworldly winter atmosphere most befitting of the season. Every year a new route is created, so even if you’re an old friend of the Arboretum you’ll likely find a few surprises in store. The Enchanted Christmas takes place every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 30 November to 23 December, 5 to 8.30pm, with the last entry to the trail at 7.15pm.
Mark these dates in your diary, because many of Broadway’s businesses will be staying open until 8.30pm – and some will even be treating their customers to free mulled wine, mince pies or a glass of fizz…So come along and soak up the atmosphere of beautiful Broadway with its twinkling lights and enjoy the chance to shop on a High Street full of wonderful independent stores - a far cry from the hustle and bustle and strip-lit malls of busy town centres.
Friday 30th November – Sunday 23rd December
Admission is adults £9, concessions £8 and children £5. Discounted entry is available for pre-booked groups over 10 people and Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum members receive half price entry on Fridays.
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Friday 30th November and Friday 7th December
Of course, no celebration would be complete without a welltimed appearance from Father Christmas, who typically arrives in Broadway on his vintage Routemaster double decker bus. That’s just the tip of the entertainment iceberg, however, with fabulous musicians performing on the village green, quirky street entertainment, local food stalls, pony and carriage rides and much, much more.
Have a Cotswold Christmas
The Christmas Tree Festival, Stow-on-the-Wold, St Edwards Church Thursday 6th – Sunday 9th December
Back for a second year, the Christmas Tree Festival sees the village church filled with Christmas trees individually decorated by schools, organisations and local businesses. Last year’s show aptly demonstrated both the creativity and Christmas spirit of our community with thirty-five great entries; over 500 votes were cast by visitors to the exhibition. Let’s see if we can top that and establish the Christmas Tree Festival as an enduring tradition. Trees kindly donated by the Fosseway Garden Centre.
Bourton on the Water Traditional Christmas Fayre Friday 7th December
‘Every Christmas, Bourton finds itself aglow with good cheer…a village transformed into a festive spectacle of light and colour.’ That’s how we described the Fayre in last Christmas’ issue of Cotswold Homes, and 2012 will doubtless deliver another in a long line of memorable evenings. An occasion to cherish, this is a great event for visitors and the community alike. Expect hog roasts, music, stalls, tidbits, Father Christmas and of course the iconic, illuminated tree situated in the River Windrush itself. It’s the one time of year everybody’s guaranteed to be in a good mood, so come along and share in the Christmas spirit.
The Spirit of Stow Saturday 8th December
Stow-on-the-Wold is an enchanting centre of Cotswolds life at any time of year but never more so than during the festive season. Now with Christmas just around the corner, the town’s local traders are inviting everybody to enjoy the delights that Stow has to offer, in a special one-day celebratory event embracing ‘The Spirit of Stow’ to be staged on Saturday 8th December. Promising to be a refreshing change from the hustle and bustle of High Street shopping, shops in and around the historic market square will offer a host of Christmas gift ideas, festive fashions, gastronomic delights, one-of-a-kind items and antiques. Shop promotions include special offers, free gift-wrapping, free drinks, tasty bites and competitions, whilst the whole town will resound to a raft of street entertainment. Meanwhile the pubs, restaurants and tearooms will be dishing up delicious festive fare. Crowning the event will be Santa’s grand arrival in the Square. www.cotswold-homes.com
GLOUCESTER MYSTERY PLAYS
The Greatest Story Ever Told comes to Gloucestershire Cathedral Photography by Louise Bowles | www.louisebowlesphotography.com
Want to see the Big Bang recreated at Gloucester Cathedral? The moment when Lucifer is banished to hell? Or even the day the last trump sounds, Judgement Day?! This November sees a Gloucestershire first: Gloucester Cathedral has commissioned its own version of the Medieval Mystery Plays. These were performed from 10th to 16th centuries all over England, telling the bible stories to the people. There is no local set of Medieval Mystery plays for Gloucester that survive, so local writer, Rachel Murray, has been given the task of producing a brand new set of plays especially for Gloucester. Rachel, who is also the Artistic Director, says: ‘I have used one of the 4 remaining cycles of plays, the ‘N-Town Cycle’ on which to base the Gloucester scripts. These are particularly interesting as they concentrate a lot more on the role of women in the bible stories (and good roles for women are often thin on the ground) and also the Passion of Christ, the events leading up to his death and resurrection. Updating these plays from Middle English into contemporary language has been a privilege and utterly fascinating. ‘The medieval mind is surprisingly similar to our modern ways of thinking. For example, one of the plays is called ‘Joseph’s Doubt’ which deals with Joseph’s totally understandable reaction when Mary tells him she will bear God’s Son. He reacts just as any modern man would. The humour, subtlety and sheer theatricality of the plays is stunning and the humanity and divinity contained within them is going to make for an unforgettable theatrical experience. I feel as if I’ve lived the past 18 months in the 1st, 14th and 21st centuries.’ There are 13 plays in the first Cycle and they are split between 5 directors. The 60 actors and 86
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crew are drawn from all over Gloucestershire and it’s been no mean feat organising casting, rehearsing and bringing everyone together to put the show on. Rachel’s vision is of a largely modern re-telling of the stories using lights, sound effects, music and as much technical wizardry as she can persuade her stage crew to get their hands on. The costumes will be a mixture of 1st Century Palestine with a medieval edge. ‘I want to produce magical, mesmerising, totally immersive theatre. It doesn’t matter whether you have a faith or not. Come and see these plays. The stories they tell are central to our traditions and history. They will educate and entertain, inspire and delight, they will provoke, surprise and also, I hope, move you’.
was given to mean ‘miracle’, and the plays were mostly concerned with the most dramatic stories contained in the Old and New Testaments. Accounts suggest the plays were born when Church masses began to be held in English, replacing much of the incomprehensible Latin that the common man had previously been made to endure. With Christian stories then more widely understood, performances gradually emerged as a more emotive, entertaining, visual and community-led method of honouring and celebrating the bible stories. They were played out in cycles that often began with the Fall of Lucifer – the expulsion of Satan from heaven – and ended with the Last Judgement - the sorting of human souls at the end of the world.
Cycle One comprises of The Creation through to The Slaughter of the Innocents and the Death of Herod and is being performed at Gloucester Cathedral from 27th – 29th November. Cycle Two, to be performed next Easter, takes you on a journey from the Baptism of Christ, through to the Crucifixion and Judgement Day. Dramatic, it will be! What is a Mystery Play? This Christmas time, visitors to Gloucester will witness the revival of one of England’s oldest forms of storytelling – the Mystery Play. Gathering outside the city’s grand cathedral, costumed players will enact some of the best known stories in the Christian canon. But what exactly are the Mystery Plays – and where do they come from? In their medieval context, the word ‘mystery’
Rehearsals are underway for the Mystery Plays
GLOUCESTER MYSTERY PLAYS
“Accounts suggest the plays were born when Church masses began to be held in English, replacing much of the incomprehensible Latin that the common man had previously been made to endure.” Falling in between these two cataclysmic events were all the best-known bible stories. The tales of Adam and Eve, Noah’s Ark, the Nativity, the Crucifixion (amongst others) were played out in succession. In essence, watching the plays must have been like experiencing the ‘greatest hits’ of the Bible. The shows then left the churchyards, with
guildsmen and travelling players replacing the clergy as popular storytellers (as Pope Innocent III had actually banned the clergy from performing). A moveable ‘pageant’ platform became the basis for the plays, usually decorated to match the content of whatever was being performed. The people’s fear of Hell often manifested itself as the ‘Hellmouth’ – a scarylooking maw set at the side of the ‘stage’ which
Illustration of a Mystery Play Performed in Chester
would swallow sinners and deliver them down into damnation. The Plays perhaps reached the peak of their popularity in the 14th and 15th centuries, and evidence suggests they were largely supplanted by Morality Plays, which concerned the topics of temptation, atonement and the virtues of justice and grace. The development of professional theatre probably put the final nails in the coffin of this popular tradition. The Mystery Plays certainly had an impressive innings, though; they were part of community life from the 10th through to the 16th century. The post-war Festival of Britain in 1951 saw a revival of the plays in both Chester and York (as part of nationwide efforts to restore the public spirit), and since this date they have been played infrequently in various locations. www.cotswold-homes.com
Christmas & New Year Salutations
Christmas & New Year Salutations from Veronica James, Area Dean of the North Cotswolds
How exciting it was to watch the five gold rings rise up into the night sky as part of the Industrial Revolution opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games – and now, gold rings are set to appear again as we turn to celebrate Christmas with the traditional carol, the ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’. After a glorious year of national and local celebrations, we can now focus on a time of sharing together through the winter months, moving through Advent preparations towards Christmas. The ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ was originally written as a celebration for the 12th night: the evening of the 5th of January. This is the last day of the Christmas festivities and leads the churches into the season of Epiphany, when we celebrate the arrival of the Kings into the many crib scenes on display in our parish churches. As you read below, sing the tune and reflect Sunday 2 December, 6pm St Mary’s Temple Guiting Advent Carols Sunday 9 December, 11am St Michael & All Angels, Guiting Power Family Christingle Service Sunday 16 December, 6pm St Mary’s Temple Guiting, Carol Service Friday 21 December, 6.30pm Guiting Power Carol Service Saturday 22 December, 4pm Cutsdean Carol Service & 6pm Upper Slaughter Carol Service
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on the year… “On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Twelve drummers drumming Eleven pipers piping Ten lords a-leaping Nine ladies dancing Eight maids a-milking Seven swans a-swimming Six geese a-laying Five golden rings Four calling birds Three french hens Two turtle doves And a Partridge in a pear tree.” Of course, if you think about the words of the song plenty of images spring to mind. Drummers bring memories of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee weekend celebrations across
the country, the flags and parties bringing colour to villages and market towns – and the many volunteers who pitched in with the drumming at the magnificent opening ceremony. The maids a-milking allow us to reflect on the challenging milk prices our farmers have faced this year, and those five golden rings recall the five Olympic rings as they were raised into the night sky in London. How quickly the year has moved on. As your Area Dean, and now installed as an Honorary Canon of Gloucester Cathedral, I will have opportunities of sharing thoughts of rural ministry with the Dean and Chapter at the Cathedral as well as responding to the vision of our Diocesan Cathedral. I encourage you to come along to a local Cotswold Church and enjoy the carol singing; here are some suggested dates and times, but don’t forget to look on the local church notice boards for plenty more…
Sunday 23 December, 3pm Lower Slaughter Carols by Candlelight and 6pm Naunton Carols by Candlelight Monday 24 December, 7pm Farmcote Carol Service; 11.30pm Midnight Communion at Naunton & Lower Slaughter Christmas Day Tuesday 25 December, 9am Upper Slaughter Family Communion; 10.15am Guiting Power Family Service; 10.30am Temple Guiting Family Communion; 11.30am Cutsdean Family Communion
are thankful. May your Christmas be a time of great joy, and may the brightness of the Season of Epiphany illuminate your way into the New Year.
As we make preparations for the season of goodwill there are so many things for which we
Every Blessing from Revd Canon Veronica James
What the Gamekeeper Saw A snow-struck hare is the centre of attention in gamekeeper Adam Tatlow’s latest photograph. Spare a thought for our local wildlife at this chilly time! Fond of Adam’s photography? Here are some dates for your diary: Stop by Broadwell for art, craft and cake where Adam will be with a mix of other local artists on November 17th and 18th (free entry and café). The following weekend (November 25th) he’ll be at the Frogmill pub at Andoversford for the Cotswold Hunt Christmas Fair.
Adam takes orders for personalised cards in batches of fifty: a superb treat for wildlife-loving friends and family. Visit www. cotswoldkeeperphotography.com for the online gallery and call Adam on 07774 285 459. Adam has an exclusive Privilege Card offer for our readers. For this and more, please see the Privilege Card section beginning on page 106
RAF Moreton in Marsh
Popping into the Wellington Aviation Museum, we salute Moreton’s wartime past and appeal for all to remember it. Think of the heritage of Moreton-in-Marsh and you might at first imagine the hectic crossroads trading at the peak of the wool boom, but the town’s recent history is much more colourful and dramatic than that.
motorbike, you see, so I knew what engines were all about.’ How did he get away with being just sixteen years old? ‘The fluff certainly helped,’ he laughs, indicating the characteristic moustache that he still sports today.
Today the timeless market square belies the fact that it was once filled with American tanks and German prisoners bound for one of the three nearby POW camps. It all began with the establishment of a nearby airfield (today the Fire College), which became a significant RAF training base – a place where the formidable Wellington bombers reared into the sky under the command of some of the youngest, bravest crews to be found in England.
Gerry has tirelessly campaigned over latter years to preserve and commemorate something of the unique history that he experienced first hand, as well as raising thousands for associated charities. In addition to organising three reunions at the Fire College, he has also funded the creation of a memorial stone, co-authored a commemorative book and has had refurbished the Wellington Dining Room at Weston Super Mare, as well as having installed a number of benches in honour of fallen friends. Before the end of 2012, he plans to have opened up much more of his extensive collection to the public.
Learning how to fly these metal machines was undoubtedly a risky business, and many lost their lives in air crashes during training. Their sacrifices – and those of all who served in that terrible war – constitute a sad part of the effort that would ultimately ensure victory. The best place to learn about Moreton’s wartime history is the town’s very own Wellington Aviation Museum, lovingly run by Gerry V. Tyack. Illegally joining the RAF at age 16 – a whole two years before the permitted age – Gerry served at the base until his demobilisation in 1945. Upon his retirement he opened his museum and today remains the custodian of a remarkable collection of RAF artefacts and memories. It is now perhaps a little known fact that Moreton’s caravan site – located directly opposite the museum – formerly served as the Women’s Auxiliary (WAF) camp. ‘Let me know if there are any ghosts over there, will you?’ Gerry chuckles with some holidaymakers on our first visit to the museum. Intrigued by his career, we ask Gerry about his entry into the RAF as an engineer. ‘Well, I had a 90 Cotswold Homes Magazine
So how can you keep the memory of RAF Moreton-in-Marsh alive? A mere £2.50 will gain you access to Gerry’s grand collection of mementos and paraphernalia, where both newcomers and enthusiasts can fill their boots with stories and knowledge. We recommend taking a look at the ‘sweetheart’ badges - pins worn by the girlfriends and wives of the airmen who were often far away from home. These came in a wide variety of designs and many of them are still in good condition today, each a tender token of a bygone romance and a reminder of the strains and dangers that faced many couples at this time. The RAF’s leading welfare charity, the RAF Benevolent Fund, is directly involved in the provision of support for veterans and their families, typically spending around £20 million a year. What better way to remember those who served than to make a donation? Visit www.rafbf. org to find out more about their activities.
From Farm To Plate
From Farm To Plate An enterprising collaboration between a local dairy and Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust
Joe Gordon McGlone, GWT,
, Simon Weaver Henson, Adam Henson
Simon Weaver, of Cotswold Organic Dairy, is particularly looking forward to Christmas given the huge interest in one of their new cheeses, being produced in liaison with Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust. We had been told about his Single Gloucester cheese, Greystones, by Richard Chamberlain and thought it was a brilliant concept – so we caught up with him to find out more. CH. Congratulations on your delicious new cheese! How did it all start? SW. We began making cheese 8 years ago when, having converted the milking herd to organic status, we could find no buyer for the milk. Our cheese soon found a ready market just at a time when the interest of local and regional food was beginning to blossom. Since that time the cheese business has continued to prosper. CH. What cheeses do you produce already? SW. Our basic three cheeses, Cotswold Brie, Cotswold Blue and Cotswold Herb have now grown to a range of seven wonderful cheeses. Last year we introduced a Cotswold Mozzarella and a feta-like Cotswold Greek Style, both made from our own organic cow’s milk. The mozzarella is made from traditional cultures, unlike many of the more industrial retail offerings that are made using citric acid. These cultures lead to 92
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an entirely different taste than many people are used to, very fresh and creamy. CH How does production of a Single Gloucester connect you to the Gloucester Wildlife Trust? SW. We have worked with The Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust on their farm at Bourton on the Water to create this wonderfully traditional cheese and we use organic cow’s milk from cows reared on that farm. There is a fascinating history connected to the place - 6,000 continuous years of farming are evident from the archaeology on the site and currently the farm offers wonderful habitat for a huge range of wildlife, wild flowers and grazing cattle.
“Our basic three cheeses, Cotswold Brie, Cotswold Blue and Cotswold Herb have now grown to a range of seven wonderful cheeses.”
CH What is the benefit to the Trust of your partnership? SW. Single Gloucester can only be produced in Gloucestershire on farms that have a registered herd of the rare Gloucester cattle. Currently, there are only six producers so we are very excited about joining this very select group. Gloucester Wildlife Trust have brought a great enthusiasm to the project as it will be the first time they have had a direct link to production on their Greystones farm; they recognise that there will be a chance for their members to follow the enterprise from farm to plate.
Simon Weaver Cotswold Organic Dairy Kirkham Farm Upper Slaughter Gloucestershire GL54 2JS The Creamery: 01451 870852 Fax: 01451 831 753 Email: email@example.com Buy direct from the creamery: Open MonFri 9am-5pm, easily found on the roadside between Lower Slaughter and Lower Swell
The Cotswold Food Store
for your Christmas table
The tradition of cheese rolling on Cooper’s Hill is centuries old, or so it is believed, but it’s not an activity that many of us plan to experience! However, enjoying the delights of cheese on our plate is a different matter and almost universally, a fundamental part of Christmas. Enjoying cheese is on the up in the UK … it’s official. Consumption of cheese is up by 1.7% this year and by nearly 10% over the last decade, and there were over 900 entries in this year’s British Cheese Awards from 187 different cheese-makers, including some premier cheese makers from The Cotswolds. The Cotswold Hills might be more famous for its sheep, but cheese-making is firmly on the map around here and there were an impressive number of Cotswold cheeses awarded Gold at this year’s awards. Renee and Richard Loveridge set up the Windrush Valley Goat Dairy near Burford in 2002; they produce a number of delicious fresh cheeses from the milk of their pedigree Saanan goats. The pure goat’s milk cheese is more often their best seller, but this year it was their Dainty Herb that won Gold and then went on to win Best Fresh Cheese. Daylesford Organic is a giant in the world of farm shops but still a relatively small player in the cheese-world – still artisan in many respects, producing an impressive array of 94
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The Cotswold Food Store
differing styles of cheese. It all started with Joe Schneider making Daylesford Organic, an aged cheddar of considerable acclaim, but now under the watchful eye of John Longman and Pip Friedman the cheese-making has expanded to include over 10 different varieties of cheese. Daylesford Organic still collected a Silver award this year but was eclipsed by its much smaller cousin Oddington Peppercorn, a fresh goat’s log rolled in organic peppercorns wining Gold, and by Baywell, its petit washrinded heart that won Best Organic Cheese. A new cheese for 2012 is Greystones, a traditional Single Gloucester made by Simon Weaver, famous for his Cotswold Organic Brie. What’s special about this cheese is that not only does it conform to the heritage of the cheese by way of recipe and the use of milk from the Gloucester cow, but the heifers
generously producing this milk are grazing on ancient meadows rich in grass and wild flowers that lie beside the River Eye near Bourton on the Water. Of course, Stilton is the traditional cheese for Christmas, so proverbial eyebrows might be raised around the lunch table if you were to serve Beauvale, a new soft and creamy blue recently launched by Cropwell Bishop, perhaps the most famous name in Stiltonmaking. The Cropwell Bishop Creamery has developed this new softer and milder blue to rival this style of European cheeses - think of Gorgonzola, Forme D’Ambert and Dolcelatte. Beauvale has a wonderful melt-in-the-mouth texture and mellow flavour that will equally suit Stilton lovers and those preferring a milder blue.
All the cheeses I have featured are available from The Cotswold Food Store & Café at Longborough. Go to www,cotswoldfoodstore.co.uk to download your Christmas Cheeses and other Christmas Order Forms or for further information, here are some useful addresses. Windush Valley Goat Dairy, Pinchpool Farm, Windrush, Oxon Simon Weaver’s Greystone Single Gloucester www.simonweaver.net Daylesford Organic www.daylesfordorganic.co.uk Cropwell Bishop Creamery www.cropwellbishopstilton.co.uk
On Course for Christmas
On Course for Christmas! We offer you delicious festive recipes from top local chefs - enjoy!
Fred Marti or Sommelier, Lower Slaughter Man al Originally from Toulouse, Fred has a speci g joinin tly recen s, wine c nami interest in biody et Dors from the hotel
Cocktail: Spiced Appletini 25ml vodka Small piece of red chilli 10ml good quality apple juice 25ml sugar syrup ¼ fresh green apple Place the chopped green apple and chilli syrup r suga the add er, shak into a cocktail and a vodk the add her, toget le and mudd ini apple juice and stir. Strain into a mart a and chilli glass, garnish with finely sliced slice of fresh apple.
Teofil Gabriel Moloce (Gabi) Head chef, Grapevine Hotel, Stow on the Wold Gabi learnt his skills on large cruise ships and hotels in his home town, Bucharest, and fine dining restaurants in the USA. Starter: Asian Style Crab Cakes 125g white crab meat
Fred Mar ti Mix all of the above ingredients in a bowl. When blended, shape into hockey puck size fishcakes. Heat some olive oil in a frying pan and then gently fry fishcakes until golden brown, turn over and do the same on the other side. Serve with some fresh salad leaves or green vegetables, a light lemon mayonnaise dressing and a crisp white wine.
1tsp freshly grated ginger
Moloce Teofil Gabriel
1 small red chili pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
1 spring onion, finely sliced
A few stems of roughly chopped coriander 1 free range egg
3 tbsp breadcrumbs James Milward head chef at Th e Lamb, Great Rissington. James trained unde r Michelin-starred chef, Riccardo Van Ede, at the Felin Fach Gr iffi n, Wales Main: Roast Du ck with Foie Gras, Apples & Rosema ry 1 Large Duck, rin sed Salt & Pepper 1 lobe of foie gras 1 big Bramley apple
1 twig of bay 2-3 sprigs rosem ary olive oil 96
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Prick the duck all over just under the skin and plunge into a sau cepan of boiling wa ter for a few minutes. Remove and leave to dry in a cool place for a few hours un til completely dry. Preheat oven to 220 °C
Season the bird all over, including the cavity, rubbing with a litt le olive oil, and stuff with the foie gras, the apple and finally, the herbs . Transfer to a roa sting tin in the hot oven to crisp up the skin. After 15 minutes turn the oven down to 180 °C, cook for about an hour (depe nding on the size of the bir d). Baste the bird wi th the foie gras and apple juices half way through . Once cooked, res t for 20 minutes, res erving the roasting juices for a deliciously rich sau ce. Serve with roast potatoes and dresse d, pe ppery leaves or blanche d green vegetables .
James M ilward
On Course for Christmas
Jamie Raftery Executive Chef of the Lower Slaughter Manor and The Slaughters Country Inn
ftery Jamie Ra
Matthew Dare Head Chef of the Mill House Hotel, Kingham. Matt has spent the last ten years working in some of the best restaurants in the Cotswolds. He has been at the Mill House for the past 3 years.
Heat oven to 1800C. Split butternut in half (lengthways), season with salt and pepper, sag e, thyme & garlic, splash with olive oil, wra p in foil, and bake at 180 degrees for 15-25 After winning a Gordon Ram mins until soft. say scholarship, Allow to cool then, sco Jamie progressed to Head op out the flesh Chef at Kit (discarding the skin & Chapman’s Castle Hotel, herbs) Taunton and became one of French Laundry’s “Dr Bring the stock to a low eam Team” at simmer. In a Harrods pop-up restauran separate pan add 50g but t in 2011. ter & olive oil, over a medium heat. Stir in the onions and Vegetarian Main: But sweat gently for 8-10 min ternut squash & s until soft but not Sage risotto, roast ceps c oloured. & black truffle oil Stir the rice into the oni ons until 1 large butternut squash completely coated in the , 3 tbsp olive oil butter, then stir until shiny and the edg ½ bunch sage, leaves pick es of the grain start ed & chopped. to look transparent, the 1½ litre of vegetable (or n pour in the wine for non-vegetarians, and simmer until totally eva chicken) stock porated. Add the stock, a ladlefu 1 small onion , finely choppe l at a time, stirring d the rice over a low hea t for 18-25 mins until 300g risotto rice (we use carnaroli) the rice is cooked al den te (it should be 1 small glass white wine creamy and slightly sou py when you draw 50g parmesan or vegeta a wooden spoon through rian alternative, it, with a wake that finely grated holds for a few moments but not longer). 100g salted butter Gently saute the ceps or wild mushrooms in 4 medium to large ceps or a little olive oil and but a mix of wild ter. mushrooms When the risotto is nea rly cooked, stir 1 tbsp Black truffle oil though the butternut pul p, then the cheese, butter, chopped sage and truffle oil leave to rest for a few minutes. Season carefully with salt, cracked black pep per & a splash of olive oil. Serve with the ceps or wild mushrooms scattered on top, and mo re grated parmesan to taste.
Pudding: Chocolate Brownies 277g dark chocolate 277g butter 4 eggs
127g sifted plain flour 60g sifted cocoa
150g dark chocolate chips Heat oven to 1500C. Whip eggs together with the sugar. Melt the chocolate and butter and fold into the egg mixture. Fold in the flour & cocoa. Fold in chocolate chips. Bake for approx 45 minutes.
are Matthew D www.cotswold-homes.com
EVENTS FOR WINTER
Events for Winter
November 2012 The Tender Heart (an exhibition of paintings by Irene Jones), Celia Lendis Contemporary, Moreton-in-Marsh 10 November 2012 - 22 Dec 2012 10:00 every Mon, Wed, Thur, Fri, Sat â€˜The Tender Heart', an exhibition of paintings by Irene Jones, a collection of beautiful and Romantic portraits. With their soft and elegant muted colours, the delightful Tudor-esque portraits capture the playfulness of eternal youth and the poignant moments from each of the characters lives. Irene Jones has previously exhibited at the V&A, the Royal West of England Academy and the Bristol Academy. Mon, Wed-Sat. From 10am. Free admission. The Cheltenham Open Meeting, Cheltenham Racecourse, Prestbury Park, Cheltenham 16th â€“ 18th November 2012 18 races will see many of the best horses in Europe going head to head, with existing and future champions thrilling the crowds. The Enchanted Garden, Hidcote Manor Gardens 16, 17, 18, 23, 24 & 25 November 2012 Be one of the first to explore the gardens at night and admire scary trees and subtle shadows as you're guided around the unique light display. The Syd Lawrence Orchestra, The Everyman Theatre 17th November 2012 Chris Dean's Syd Lawrence Orchestra has struck gold by bringing you a robustly enjoyable evening of tuneful entertainment. Evesham Country Christmas, Market Place Evesham 17th November 2012 Charter Market in High Street and Bridge Street, plus Christmas Craft Fayre in Evesham Town Hall, Victorian Penny Arcade and Organ, Kiddies Rides and Morris Dancing
Cotswold Homes Magazine
EVENTS FOR WINTER
Events for Winter
The Big Stand-Up Night, Chipping Campden Comedy Club Saturday 17 November 2012 Prepare to laugh yourself silly at Campden’s adult-only Comedy Club, which will be hosted by MC Iszi Lawrence and feature a bumper line-up including Andrew Mondia, Bekka Bowling, Paul McGarrity, Stephen Bailey, Stu Privett and Paul Osborne – with refreshments provided by The 8 Bells pub. Italian Food Market, Tewkesbury 18th November 2012 The real Italian food market returns to Tewkesbury. The Woman in Black, Everyman Theatre 19th – 24th November 2012 Unanimously acclaimed by the critics, Stephen Mallatratt's stage adaptation of Susan Hill's best selling novel combines the power and intensity of live theatre with a cinematic quality inspired by the world of film noir. It is a formula that provides audiences with an evening of unremitting drama as they are transported into a terrifying and ghostly world. Cinderella by Ben Crocker, The Theatre Chipping Norton 20th November 2012 - 6 Jan 2013 19:30 Visit www.chippingnortontheatre.co.uk for times and bookings Come with us as we transport you to a land of magic and fairy tales in this timeless classic tale. Ugly sisters, handsome princes and glass slippers all feature in this story of love, laughter and wishes made true. Celebrate the fortieth birthday of the world-famous Chipping Norton panto with this especially sumptuous, breath-taking production. Gloucester Quays Victorian Christmas Market, Gloucester Quays and Historic Docks 22nd November – 25th November 2012 Step back in time at our fabulous Victorian Christmas Market with food and drinks stalls, a craft market - perfect for Christmas gifts, plus live music and entertainment – with over 70 producers, artists and designers taking part. Flute & Piano Recital, Cirencester Parish Church 23rd November 2012 Local musicians Clemency Rubinstein (flute) and Bridget Ingold (piano) will perform a 35-40 minute recital to include a wide range of music from Baroque, classical and romantic to 20th century pieces. www.cotswold-homes.com 99
EVENTS FOR WINTER
Events for Winter Whalebone Origins Tour in the Cotswolds, The Palmer Hall, London Road, Fairford 23rd November 2012 Prepare for an evening of high-energy acoustic and haunting, atmospheric tunes, alongside tall tales, folklore and the myths that inspired the music, when Whalebone takes the stage; showcasing new material, inventive interpretations of traditional rock classics and songs from the award-winning Three Fires album. Switching on the Christmas Lights, Cheltenham 2012 24th November 2012 Follow the festive fun to the Beechwood Shopping Centre to see their lights switched on at 5.30pm. Parade moves along the High Street from 5.45pm. Parade ends at The Brewery, with their Christmas lights switched on at 6.15pm. Christmas Market & LightS Switch On, Moreton-in-Marsh 24th November 2012 This is Moreton's 4th Christmas Market with stalls lining the High Street selling a great selection of Christmas gifts and food including vintage items, soaps, candles, jewellery, hand made products for the home, wooden gifts, festive wreaths & garlands to name a few. Father Christmas will be in his Grotto in the afternoon waiting for children to visit him. Charity and Local Organisation stalls will be in the Redesdale Hall. There will also be a tombola, raffle, carol singing by the local schools. More information and timings of the various activities will follow in due course. Christmas Lights Switch On, Banbury Town Centre 25th November 2012 An afternoon of entertainment incorporating staged live music, dance and entertainment, before lighting up Banbury for the festive season. A fairground in the Market Place and Santa's float at the bandstand - don't miss out on this spectacular event.
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EVENTS FOR WINTER
Events for Winter
Gloucester Mystery Play, Gloucester Cathedral 27th November – 29th November 2012 The Gloucester Mystery Plays will be staged at Gloucester Cathedral in two parts: from the Creation to the Nativity in November 2012, followed by stories of Jesus’ life, culminating in the Crucifixion and the end of the world, in March 2013. A full run of the plays will then be performed in the traditional way, from a pageant wagon, in various locations around the streets of Gloucester, in June 2013. Further performances will be staged at Worcester Cathedral and possibly Warwick Castle (still to be confirmed). Worcester Christmas Fayre, Worcester City Centre 29th November – 2nd December 2012 Worcester Christmas Fayre is the leading themed street market in the West Midlands. Hundreds of stalls fill the atmospheric streets of Worcester's historic heart with the colours, sounds and smells of Christmas. Explore the wonderful range of merchandise on offer in the city on the market stalls and in the city's exceptional range of shops, both unique independently owned boutiques and all the High Street names you would expect to find in a thriving cathedral city. Christmas Lights Switch On, Cirencester 30th November 2012 On 30th November the lights will be switched on at 6pm by Tom & Henry Herbert. Cirencester’s 3rd Christmas Market takes place for over 2 weeks featuring for the first time this year and Ice Skating rink in the Abbey Grounds. Ice-skating will operate from midday – 8pm each day just yards away from the Parish Church. Take a walk through the Enchanted Trail and enjoy some time on the ice after a visit to the Market, open from 10am – 6pm in the Market Place. www.cotswold-homes.com 101
EVENTS FOR WINTER
Events for Winter The Enchanted Christmas, Westonbirt Arboretum 30th November – 23rd December 2012 On Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings (5 - 8.30pm) from Friday 30th November to Sunday 23rd December 2012, visitors to Westonbirt Arboretum can explore the famous trail of magical illuminated trees, visit a children's winter wonderland and enjoy warming mulled wine, hot chocolate and festive fare. Christmas Concert by the Cotswold Voices Choir, Corn Exchange, Faringdon, SN7 7JA 30th November 2012 Christmas Concert by THE COTSWOLD VOICES Repertoire includes original, five-part choral arrangements of well-known songs such as California Dreaming and medleys of Take That complete with soloists, as well as songs from the musicals as diverse as West Side Story and Wicked.
December 2012 Santa Fun Run, Cirencester 1st December 2012 Cheer on hundreds of Father Christmases as they sprint, jog and walk the grounds of Bathurst Estate and Cirencester Park at the second annual Santa Fun Run! Bourton Christmas Lights Event - Victorian Late Night, Town Centre 7th December 2012 The Christmas festivities begin in Bourton on the Water with a Victorian themed evening - always a hugely popular family evening out. Oxford Christmas Market, Oxford 8th -14th December 2012 and 16th – 22nd December 2012 Established in 2009 and growing bigger and better each year since then. Oxford Christmas Market has become renowned for its high quality produce and festive atmosphere. A Celebration of Medieval Art - An afternoon talk with Tim Porter, Corinium Museum, Cirencester 13th December 2012 Buildings, stained glass, sculpture and all kinds of craftwork took on a positive and uplifting air in the hands of medieval people. The Middle Ages was a time of hardship but alongside this there was a joyous response and celebration of the good things in life. Join Tim Porter for a festive offering that promises to show you the glory of England in the Middle Ages, as it was, and as it still is, in the wonderful art of the period. Oxford Bach Choir: Carol Concert, Sheldonian Theatre 14th December 2012, 7.30pm The Oxford Bach Choir will be joined by the Oxfordshire Young Singers for their annual Christmas concert under the baton of Timothy Byram-Wigfield. The main work will be Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols: a work for baritone, chorus, strings and organ, chosen because this year sees the 100th anniversary of its first performance at the 1912 Three Choirs Festival at Hereford Cathedral. 102 Cotswold Homes Magazine
EVENTS FOR WINTER
Events for Winter Berkeley Castle by Candlelight, Berkeley Gloucestershire 14th December â€“ 23rd December 2012 Visit the candlelit castle at Christmas for atmospheric festivities! Santa's Grotto at Cotswold Wildlife Park 15th December â€“ 24th December 2012 Santa will be residing in his grotto in the shop while his reindeer friends will be walking around the park for all to see!
January 2013 Stand Up Comedy, Chipping Norton Theatre 17th January 2013 The Cotswold Comedy Club is devoted to bringing top comedy to the Cotswolds. Promoters Dave Arnold and Ken Norman have already played host to some of the best acts performing on the comedy club circuit right here in Chipping Norton. Inspector Norse, Chipping Norton Theatre 18th January 2013 A Swedish flat-pack thriller! Comedy Theatre. Carthy, Hardy, Farrell & Young, Chipping Norton Theatre 27th January 2013 An incredible, rare chance to see the greatest folk violinists and singers of our time perform together.
CotOur swo Hom Privil esld
Car ege d is
Where can I get a PRIVILEGE CARD?
Just pick one up from the offices of HARRISON & HARDIE in Stow, Bourton and Moreton - it couldnâ€™t be easier. (Not local? Simply register by clicking on the Cotswold-Homes Club button at www. cotswold-homes.com.) You will receive a monthly e-mail with a list of offers like the ones in this magazine, all from independent North Cotswold businesses.
Shop local and save money!
With a bumper selection of Christmas offers from a host of local businesses, make sure you pick up your card as soon as possible!
on all property related legal services valid until the end of January 2013 Contact Louise for further details 01993 705 095 Willow House , 2 Heynes Place, Station Lane Witney, OX28 4YN
all surveys until the end of January 2013
Tel: 01285 640840 Central Surveying, 17 Black Jack Street, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, GL7 2AA
10% off all legal fees
until the end of January 2013
Thomas Legal Group is a dedicated provider of conveyancing services in and around the Cotswolds Tel: 01452 657950 Thomas Legal Group, Brunswick House Brockworth, Gloucestershire, GL3 4AA
The Lamb Inn Great Rissington
Free property appraisals, free photographs and up to ÂŁ500 cash back for new joiners
15% ofF all Food excludes any other promotions and set menus
until the end of January 2013
until the end of January 2013
Tel: 0844 870 8532 4 Ember Lane, Esher, Surrey, KT10 8ER
Tel: 01451 820388 The Lamb Inn, Great Rissington, Gloucestershire, GL54 2LP
106 Cotswold Homes Magazine
FREE footstool with each sofa purchased* *excluding material until the end of January 2013 Tel: 01608 659091 5 Threshers Yard, West Street, Kingham Oxfordshire, OX7 6YF
10% off all Cotswold calendars and diaries
All patients who attend for a new patient examination are entitled to a half-price scale and polish, normal fee £86.00 - Privilege Card Offer £43.00.
valid until the end of January 2013
VALID Until the end of January 2013.
Tel: 01451 870150 12 Talbot Court, The Square, Stow On The Wold, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL54 1BQ
Families for a Fiver! Saturday/Sunday, between 10am-5pm, 2 adults & 2 children can swim for just £5.00 (usual price £9.00) Expires 31-01-13
Tel: 01386 841595 Chipping Campden Leisure Centre Cidermill Lane, Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, GL55 6HU
Got a celebration coming your way? Let us make your special cake and receive 15% off! Until the end of January 2013
Tel: 01608 652060 Cacao Bean, Carfax House, High Street, Moreton in Marsh, Gloucestershire, GL56 0AT
Complimentary glass of Fizz when ordering from the Daily Lunch Menu. Valid until December 21, 2012. Cannot be used with any other offers or promotions. Tel: 01451 820456 Lower Slaughter Manor, Lower Slaughter, Gloucestershire, GL54 2HP
Trevor Bigg Breakspeare House, Shipton Road, Milton-Under-Wychwood, Oxford, OX7 6JW 01993 831396
2 Twin Personal Training Sessions for just £22pp that’s £11 per session per person! Valid until the end of January 2013.
Tel: 01386 701231 Unit 6, Draycott Business Village Draycott, Nr Moreton in Marsh Gloucestershire, GL56 9DY
R&D WALKER T/A P Checketts
10% off gammons joints valid until the end of January 2013 24 High Street Moreton-in-Marsh Gloucestershire GL56 OAF 01608 651002
Enjoy our 9 course tasting menu for 2 & receive a complimentary bottle of champagne. Available any night - cannot be combined with any other promotions. Dial House Hotel High Street Bourton on the Water GL54 2AN 01451 822244
2 course lunches for £10.00, including a complimentary tea or coffee for privilege card holders, Valid Monday-Saturday Excludes Christmas and New Years Packages The Mill House Hotel Station Road Kingham OX7 6UH 01608 658188
A Christmas Gift, to Privilege Card Holders Only, from Cotswold Gold.
10% off all orders online. Quote the code: CotsHomes2012 Cotswold Gold East Lodge Farm, Stanton, Broadway, Worcestershire, WR12 7NH, 07867 938 221
20% Off All Private One To One Game Or Clay Shooting Lessons At Prescott Shooting School until the end of January 2013 Lessons Available Tuesday-Saturday 10-5pm 01242 673542 - 07921951477 www.prescottshooting.com firstname.lastname@example.org
free bottle of wine with 3 course dinner for 2 in our conservatory restaurant Available any night - cannot be combined with any other promotions. Sheep Street Stow-on-the-Wold Gloucestershire GL54 1AU 01451 830 344
Privilege Card Offers Fusion Hair Salon Randell Burton Architects are pleased to offer a free consultation on any project and a donation to the charity Shelter. 01884 254465/ 01608 644573 1 West Street, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, OX7 5LH
Two 1hour group riding lessons, for both adults and children, for £30 normally £52, a perfect gift or family time activity (100 hours available). Until the end of January 2013 01608 674867 Durham’s Farm Riding School, Chastleton, Moreton in Marsh, Gloucestershire, GL56 0SZ
25% off RRP of ALL Car Batteries until the end of January 2013. 07826 847357|01451 810039 Unit 3a, Willow Court, Bourton-on-the-Water, GL54 2HQ
10% off Karndean and Amtico flooring until the end of January 2013 (excludes fitting) Tel: 01242 521 273 The Brown Barn, Longacre Farm, Brockhampton Lane, Gloucestershire, GL51 9RS
after staying two nights or more when staying in our hand crafted Cotswold Shepherds Hut in a secluded spot in the Cotswolds Please contact us for more information Valid until the end of January 2013. 01453 883515 Cotswold Shepherd’s Huts, Sarratt, Keble Road, France Lynch, Nr. Stroud, Gloucestershire GL6 8LN
everything in store, perfect for Christmas gifts for friends and family.
25% off a bottle of Moroccan Oil with any highlights, tints or colours. (oil £22.50 normally £30) until the end of January 2013.
01451 810781 Unit 2 Moore Road, Bourton on the Water, Cheltenham, Glos, GL54 2AZ
10% Discount on Firewood
Until the end of January 2013.
(Pick up load). Until the end of January 2013.
Tel: 01451 822800 Box of Delights, High Street, Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire, GL54 2AQ
Tel: 01608 644490 The Spinney, Elmsfield Industrial Estate, Worcester Road, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, OX7 5XL
15% off our legal fees until the end of January 2013.
Bampton Law Clanfield House, Market Square, Bampton, Oxfordshire OX18 2JJ T: 01993 852222
Free Bottle of House wine, with a three-course lunch or dinner. Min 2 max 6 people, cannot be used with any other offers, valid until 01.02.13 01993 823151 Burford House Hotel, 99 High Street, Burford, Oxfordshire, OX18 4QA
Cotswold Carriers 10% discount off our removal services UNTIL end of January 2013.
01608 730500 Warehouse No 2, The Walk, Hook Norton Road, Chipping Norton, Oxon OX7 5TG
Robert Boswell Design Consultancy 10% Off First Fee Invoice Valid until end of January Robert Boswell Design Consultancy Ltd. 01451 831921 - 07702 347424 email@example.com
15% off our A La Carte Menu (excluding beverages). Mon to Thurs valid until 31st January 2013, excluding BHs & NY Eve, subject to availability. 01386 853555 The Green, 20 High Street, Broadway, Worcestershire, WR12 7DT
Free architectural & construction project appraisals. All contracts agreed before 31st of March 2013 have the chance to win a £500 John Lewis gift voucher. Until the end of January 2013.
10% off throughout the store until the end of January 2013 when presenting your privilege card before placing your order. 01789 299446 Units 2-4 Avon Retail, Wharf Road, Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 0AD
Adam Tatlow Photography 20% off Everything – All Prints & All Cards – For email enquiries only. Valid until the end of January 2013.
01242 621190 Alderwood Construction, Unit 5 Gamma, Orchard Industrial Estate, Toddington, Gloucestershire, GL54 5EB
VAT FREE on our Famous Art Deco GWR Bench, until the end of January 01608 652505 12 Fosseway Business Park, Moreton in Marsh, Gloucestershire, GL56 9NQ
24 Hour Taxi Service 50% off returns following an outbound journey within a 20-mile radius of Bourton-onthe-Water. Valid until 31-01-2013. 01451 820778 07585 308838 The Cotswolds
all Round House furniture, free consultation and design service. Until the end of January 2013. 01242 521900 12 Montpellier Arcade, Cheltenham, GL50 1SU
Beautifully boxed, handmade, Scented Candles and subtle perfume diffusers buy six get the seventh complimentary.
Full body Aroma Massage £50 normally £65 Flawless spray tan £20 normally £25 Gel Polish Nails £20 normally £25 Hopi Ear Candles £22 normally £30 Tel: 01386 841123 M Spa, Lapstone, Westington Hill, Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, GL55 6EG
The Fox at Broadwell 10% off all food – Monday to Friday – Excludes set menus & beverages. Valid until the end of January 2013. The Fox at Broadwell The Green Broadwell Moreton in Marsh Glos GL56 0UF 01451 870 909
15% off all M.C. Beaton Titles, excludes any other promotions. Valid until 24-12-12 01608 652666 20 High Street, Moreton-in-Marsh, GL56 OAF
50% off consultation rate £120 + vat ph now £60 + vat ph
Until the end of January 2013.
(40 hours available) Valid until the end of January 2013.
01993 822385 Fulbrook, Nr Burford, Oxfordshire 0X18 4DE
01993 220 721 The Studio, Mill Barn, Cow Lane, Longworth, Oxfordshire OX13 5EJ
Cotswold -Homes.com Cotswold Homes Directory of Independent Businesses HOMES AND GARDENS
Where to stay, what to do, where to go? ARCHITECTS Randell Burton Architects, Chipping Norton and Devon 01608 644573/01884 254465 Randell Burton Ltd is an RIBA Chartered Practice with offices in Devon and The Cotswolds and serves an extensive client base in both areas. W: www.randellburton.co.uk E: firstname.lastname@example.org Robert Boswell Design, Stow on the Wold 01451 831921 A complete design and specification service to the residential, retail and contract markets. W: www.rbdconsultancy.com E: email@example.com
BATHROOMS The Bathroom Studio: 01386 47234 Our business is to design, supply and install bathrooms and with over 29 years of experience we pride ourselves on being able to provide a service that that is second to none. W: www.the-bathroomstudio.co.uk E: firstname.lastname@example.org
BUILDERS AND CONTRACTORS Cotswold Building Contractors: 01386 840484 A local, friendly and trustworthy building and development service with a high degree of expertise and excellent workmanship E: email@example.com Four Shires Construction Ltd: 01451 850905 / 07879 473349 Four Shires Construction Ltd specialise in premium Cotswold Barn Conversions and renovations. Bathrooms, Living, Gym and Sauna, Bedrooms, Dining, External W: www.fourshiresconstruction.co.uk E : firstname.lastname@example.org Alderwood Construction Ltd 01242 621190 W: www.alderwoodconstruction.co.uk E: email@example.com
Domestic Tank Services - Water Storage, Diesel, Oil, Bespoke Tanks: 01386 853030 We are a young and dynamic company, whose team is built on the knowledge of over 30 years of experience. W: www.domestictankservices.com E: firstname.lastname@example.org
CARPETS AND FLOORING Becknell Services - Flooring specialists: 01386 840484 Wood & Stone Floors Refurbished, Curtain Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning, Reach & Wash Window Cleaning E: email@example.com KC Carpets, Moreton in Marsh: 01608 650331 We are a family run business that has been offering the best in carpets, vinyl flooring and blinds since 1984. W: www.kc-carpets.co.uk E: firstname.lastname@example.org Parsons Carpet & Flooring Specialists: Cheltenham: 01242 521273 Passionate about flooring and equally passionate about the quality of service that we provide to you! W: www.parsonsflooring.com E: email@example.com Carpetwise, Curtainwise, Furniturewise, Stratford upon Avon 01789 299446 Carpetwise Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire has grown to become one of the Midlands’ leading specialists in carpets, hard floor coverings, rugs, curtains, blinds, soft furnishings, and now furniture, stocking many well-known brands. W: www.carpet-curtainwise.co.uk E: firstname.lastname@example.org
FIREPLACES Greyhound Stoves. Blackwell: 01608 682628 We are a Fireplace Stove Studio - our showroom features over 50 displays which include multi-fuel / wood burning stoves and stone and wood fireplace surrounds. W: www.greyhoundstoves.com E: email@example.com Clearview Stoves, Stow-on-theWold 01451 831000 Britain’s leading manufacturer of clean burning wood stoves W: www.clearviewstoves.com E: firstname.lastname@example.org
FURNITURE Sebastian Sellers Northleach: 01451 861864 Mike Sellers Smith & his team at Sebastian Sellers have over 30 experience in the planning & creation of individually designed & handmade furniture. E: email@example.com Baroque Ardor – unique hand painted furniture: 07595 894676 / 07920 112252 A successful partnership of interior designers who are dedicated to creating unique, hand painted furniture. W: www.baroque-ardor.co.uk E: firstname.lastname@example.org Westcote Design, Kingham: 01608 659091 We produce a comprehensive range of sofas, sofa beds, footstools, headboards and bespoke furniture manufactured by a small talented team. W: www.westcotedesign.co.uk E: email@example.com
GARDENS Annie Pearce, Garden Design: 01451 822390 I work with you personally to help you create your own beautiful, unique garden that I hope will truly enhance your life. W: www.anniepearce.co.uk E: firstname.lastname@example.org Fosseway Garden Centre, Moreton in Marsh: 01608 651757 A large garden centre offering gardening, pets, gifts and everything to do with outdoor living, plus a great cafe. W: www.fossewaygardencentre.co.uk E: email@example.com Lonstone: Garden Landscaping, Longborough: 01451 830140 Manufacturers of premium quality garden landscaping products, including paving and exclusive reproduction Lonstone Vintage Planters and feature pieces W: www.lonstone.co.uk E: firstname.lastname@example.org Treetech Arboricultural Services Ltd, Chipping Norton: 01608 644490 Professional, efficient service with consistent quality standards for all aspects of tree care W: www.treetech.co.uk E: email@example.com Batsford Arboretum: 01386 701 441 For quality plants, gorgeous gifts and garden sundries, locally sourced
home-baked food and beautiful shabby chic ideas from the Applestore shop. W: www.batsarb.co.uk E: firstname.lastname@example.org Cotswold Shepherd’s Huts, Nr. Stroud 01453 883515/ 07971417177 Established in 2005 with over 70 satisfied customers, from the shores of Scotland to the tip of Cornwall, Cotswold Shepherd’s Huts have been used for a variety of purposes. W: www.cotswoldshepherdshuts.co.uk E: email@example.com
INTERIORS Angela Hay Curtains & Blinds: 01386 700692 Hand made Curtains & Roman Blinds, based in the Cotswolds. W: www.angelahaycurtainsandblinds.com E: firstname.lastname@example.org Amanda Hanley By Design: 01993 822385 / 07976 353996 An independent and professional service for all of your interior design projects W: www.amandahanley.co.uk E: email@example.com Pippa Paton Design: 01993 220 721 / 07836 793 624 A specialist in contemporary Cotswolds interior design creating beautiful, exceptional homes, which enhance the lives of those who live in them W: www.pippapatondesign.co.uk E: firstname.lastname@example.org Bower Willis Designs 01608 690870 Kitchen Design, Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire & Cotswolds. W: www.bowerwillisdesigns.co.uk E: email@example.com Round House: 01242 521 900 / 07809 635 133 At Roundhouse we make beautiful kitchens, wardrobes and other furniture. What we design is a space for living. W: www.roundhousedesign.com E: firstname.lastname@example.org
HOUSE SITTERS Ticketyboo House Sitters, Barnwood, Gloucestershire: 01452 790104 If you are going on holiday, on business or leaving your home for any reason, Ticketyboo Housesitters offer you a personal house and pet sitting service. W: www.ticketyboo-housesitters.co.uk E: email@example.com
Cotswold -Homes.com Cotswold Homes Directory of Independent Businesses PROPERTY MAINTENANCE Leave It to Us -Cotswolds: 01451 830199 Professional Cleaning - Property Maintenance - Home Makeovers - Quality Interior Decorating, Residential Property Finder, Specialising in Cotswold properties W: www.leaveittous.biz E: firstname.lastname@example.org
SWIMMING POOLS Five Valleys Natural Pools: Swimming Pools: 01453 884881 / 07714 236211 In partnership with Biotop: Design & Construct eco friendly natural swimming pools W: www.fivevalleysnaturalpools.co.uk E: email@example.com
WINDOWS Mike Honour Windows, Blockley: 01386 701079 When you choose Lattice Period Windows for your windows you can be sure that you are selecting the best combination of craftsmanship, style and durability. W: www.mikehonourwindows.co.uk E: firstname.lastname@example.org
LIVING IN THE COTSWOLDS
Leisure, lifestyle and business PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT Maggie Minter, Bourton on the Water Peak performance and high growth coaching 01451 810500 W: www.maggieminter.co.uk E: email@example.com
ARTISTS AND CRAFTSMEN Whichford Pottery 01608 684416 Working as a team of potters, decorators and apprentices, we are committed to excellent craftsmanship and design. W: www.whichfordpottery.com E: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Tilly Tayler-Levy – Equine and Canine Artist: 07769 896 966 Tilly specialises in equine and canine portraiture in both oil and pastel as well as and sculpture in bronze. E: email@example.com Adam Tatlow – Wildlife Photography: 07774 285 459 Cotswold Keeper Photography by Adam Tatlow; photography of all animals wild and free, taken in the stunning countryside near to Guiting Power in the heart of the Cotswolds. W: www.cotswoldkeeperphotography.com E: firstname.lastname@example.org Laura Fearn – Art, Design & Illustration 07594 302216 Laura Fearn is an artist, illustrator and designer W: www.laurafearn.com Lindy Allfrey, Stow-on-the-Wold 01451 832440 Portrait Painter & Portrait Workshops W: www.lindyallfrey.co.uk E: email@example.com James Butler, Sculptor W: jamesbutler-ra.com
EQUESTRIAN CENTRES Overdale Equestrian Centre, Nether Westcote: 01993 832520 Overdale Equestrian Centre is unique in its focus on teaching riders the HOW of riding, improving balance, skill and confidence. W: www.overdale-equestrian.co.uk E: firstname.lastname@example.org Durhams Farm – Horse/Pony Riding: 01608 674 867 / 07811 339 162 A well-established, successful, fun riding school and livery yard; experienced, qualified and friendly instructors teaching a wide range of activities for all ages, all year round W: www.cotswoldriding.com E: email@example.com
ESTATE AGENTS Harrison & Hardie Estate Agents – North Cotswolds Moreton in Marsh: 01608 651000 firstname.lastname@example.org Bourton on the Water: 01451 822977; email@example.com Stow on the Wold: 01451 833170; firstname.lastname@example.org Residential Lettings: 01451 833177; email@example.com The Leading Estate Agency specialising in Residential Sales and Lettings W: www.cotswold-homes.com
Fine & Country Estate Agents: LONDON Represented in the North Cotswolds by HARRISON & HARDIE estate agents James von Speyr, Director 01451 833170; firstname.lastname@example.org Karen Harrison, Director 01608 651000; E: email@example.com Award-winning, international agency for upper quartile residential property in the UK and abroad - Superior town residences, luxury new-build properties and classic country homes W: www.fineandcountry.co.uk
FINANCIAL SERVICES Philip Hanley Financial Services, Fulbrook: 01993 824680 Independent Financial Adviser providing investment, pensions and mortgage advice W: www.pjamesfs.com E: firstname.lastname@example.org JEM Financial Planning: Cotswolds: 01386 840777 John Magee, an Independent Financial Adviser, and Sue Ellis, a Mortgage Broker, offer friendly, professional advice W: www.johnny-magee.co.uk E: email@example.com
FINE FOOD AND DRINK SUPPLIERS The Cotswold Brewing Company, Bourton on the Water: 01451 824488 A family owned and run brewery which supplies kegged and bottled lagers, wheat beer, stout and cider to pubs, restaurants and hotels in the Cotswolds. W: www.cotswoldbrewingcompany.co.uk E: firstname.lastname@example.org Cotswold Gold, Stanton: 07867938221 Cotswold Gold is a Natural Extra Virgin Rapeseed Oil, extracted using traditional cold pressing. W: www.cotswoldgold.co.uk E: email@example.com The Cotswold Food Store & Café: 01451 830469 The Cotswold Food Store and Café is a must-visit farm shop situated in a traditional Cotswold stone barn. W: www.cotswoldfoodstore.co.uk E: firstname.lastname@example.org R&D Walker T/A P Checketts – Moreton in Marsh: 01608 651002 Butcher’s providing seasonal meats, game (when in season), local venison, local beef, lamb and pork W: www.cotswold-homes.com
Simon Weaver – Cotswold Organic Dairy, Upper Slaughter We proudly follow a traditional method of organic farming, and place great store in caring for the land and animal welfare. 01451 870852 E: email@example.com W: www.simonweaver.net
HOLIDAY COTTAGE MANAGEMENT Character Cottages, Cotswolds: 0844 870 8532 Character Cottages is a distinctive, full service holiday lettings business, with a focus on letting and managing fabulous country homes. W: www.character-cottages.com E: firstname.lastname@example.org
MARKETING Cotswold-Homes.com: North Cotswolds: 01608 653899 Innovative, multi-media marketing for independent North Cotswold businesses W: www.cotswold-homes.com Marketing: email@example.com Editorial: firstname.lastname@example.org Social media: email@example.com MH & Partners, Design, Web, Events & Marketing: 07773 369 648 mh&partners are a team of friendly, creative, people who work within many sectors including tourism, based in Ebrington and Stratford upon Avon W: www.mhandpartners.com E: firstname.lastname@example.org
MECHANICS TWC Vehicle Services Freelance mechanic and Subaru specialist 07826 847357 E: email@example.com
NURSERIES AND SCHOOLS Bloxham School, Bloxham Oxfordshire 01295 720222 Bloxham School is a small, friendly and flourishing co-educational boarding and day school of around 420 pupils. W: www.bloxhamschool.com E: firstname.lastname@example.org The Barn Nursery, Bourton-onthe-Water: 01451 822 224 The Barn Nursery is a family-run nursery school and day nursery offering full-time and sessional daycare for children aged from 3 months to 5 years W: www.cotswold-homes.com E: email@example.com
Cotswold -Homes.com Cotswold Homes Directory of Independent Businesses Stepping Stones & Woodland Adventure Holiday Club: 01451 820 345 Professional high quality care and education tailored to Children’s and Parents’ individual needs, implementing the Early Years Foundation Stage and all the requirements of Ofsted. W: steppingstonesnursery-cotswolds.
co.uk E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cotswold School – Bourton on the Water: 01451 820 554 / 01451 820 938 A popular, happy, and successful 11-18 Academy status school set in beautiful rural surroundings, with an excellent reputation for academic success. W: www.cotswold.gloucs.sch.uk E: email@example.com
PHOTOGRAPHERS Louise Bowles Photography, Blockley: 01386 701520 Professional photographer whose services include wedding and family photographsWeddings, Family Portraits, Newborn, Events, Studio in Blockley W: www.louisebowlesphotography.com E: firstname.lastname@example.org Sarah Farnsworth Photography, Moreton in Marsh: 01608 652 918 / 07921 196 032 Commissions include rural nature, candid portraiture, product photography, landscapes, lifestyle & interiors, and sporting events amongst others. W: www.sarahfarnsworth.co.uk E: email@example.com
PRINTERS Stones, Banbury Magazines, Directories, Catalogues, Commercial, Financial 01295 819300 W: www.stonestheprinters.co.uk E: firstname.lastname@example.org
REMOVAL COMPANIES Cotswold Carriers Removals Limited, Chipping Norton: 01608 730500 We are a family-run business, operating 7 vehicles of varying sizes. W: www.cotswoldcarriers.co.uk E: email@example.com
RUGBY Gloucester Rugby Club, Gloucester Our famed grounds host the best rugby every season! 0871 871 8781 W: www.gloucesterrugby.co.uk
SHOOTING SCHOOLS Prescott Hill Shooting, Based at Ford Prescott Shooting specialises in providing the ultimate shooting experience both at our Shooting School in the Cotswolds or at a Stately Home or Castle! 01242 673542 W: www.prescottshooting.com E: firstname.lastname@example.org
01451 820778 / 07585308838 A reliable, punctual service available 24 hours a day Airport Transfers, Castles, Races, Seaport Transfers, Gardens and Tours of the Cotswolds W: www.hopeprivatehire.com E: email@example.com
THEATRE & CINEMA Chipping Norton Theatre: 01608 642350 We are a theatre, an art-house cinema, a gallery and a concert hall. W: www.chippingnortontheatre.co.uk E: boxoffice@chippingnortontheatre.
Bampton Law, Bampton and Bourton-on-the-Water: 01451 820265 Bampton Law LLP traditional in values, modern in practice. We pride ourselves on working alongside our clients as trusted advisors. W: www.bamptonlaw.co.uk E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bower & Bailey Solicitors - Banbury, Oxford, Swindon,Witney: 01993 705095 At Bower & Bailey we offer a broad range of legal services designed to respond to the needs of both private and commercial clients. W: www.bowerandbailey.co.uk E: email@example.com
Kendall & Davies Solicitors, Cotswolds: 01451 830295 From our four offices we offer friendly, client-focussed services related to property, business and family matters. Bourton, Stow, Moreton and Burford W: www.kendallanddavies.co.uk E: firstname.lastname@example.org Thomas Legal Group, Gloucestershire: 01452 657950 Dedicated provider of conveyancing services in and around the Cotswolds, offering top quality service and FIXED PRICE conveyancing W: www.thomaslegalgroup.co.uk E: email@example.com
SURVEYORS Central Surveying, Cirencester: 01285 640840 Chartered Surveyors, Building Surveyors and Property Consultants for London and the South West. W: www.centralsurveying.co.uk E: firstname.lastname@example.org
TAXIS Hope Private Hire -Taxi Service: The Cotswolds:
Marsh: 01608 652666 A large shop with a comprehensive stock of books for adults and children with large History and Military section, friendly atmosphere W: cotswoldbookstore.blogspot.co.uk E: email@example.com
DENTISTS Milton Dental Practice, Miltonunder-Wychwood: 01993 831396 Milton Dental Practice is a private practice dealing with all aspects of dental treatment. W: www.drbigg.com E: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Regal Cinema, Evesham Art Deco Cinema 01386 421007 W: theregal.ac E: email@example.com
William Gilder Ltd, Cheltenham: 01242 620677 William Gilder Ltd has proudly provided specialist transportation services for over 25 years. Disposal, Painting, Storage, Transport W: www.williamgilder.co.uk E: firstname.lastname@example.org
THE HIGH STREET
FASHION AND JEWELLERY Brocks Menswear Stow on the old and Cirencester: 01451 831200 The theme is ‘smart casual’ and includes shirts, Polos, Knitwear, Trousers & Jeans, Jackets & Coats & Footwear. W: www.brocksmenswear.co.uk E: email@example.com Foundation, Stow on the Wold and Cheltenham: 0845 388 7336 Clothing & Accessories for Modern Living W: www.shopfoundation.com E: firstname.lastname@example.org GH Fine Jewellery, Stow on the Wold: 01451 830155 GH Fine Jewellery specialises in antique jewellery, silver, second hand,
Day-to-day essentials, occasional luxuries ANTIQUES Styles of Stow, Stow on the Wold: 01451 830 455 An extensive selection of rare and unusual grandfather clocks standing alongside other fine antique timepieces. Repairs and restoration carried out on site by our highly qualified craftsmen. W: www.stylesofstow.com E: email@example.com
valuations and buying E: firstname.lastname@example.org The Cotswold Tailor Woodstock: 01993 358284 The Cotswold Tailor sells unique contemporary men’s and women’s clothing tailored in traditional tailored British Cloths. W: thecotswoldtailor.com E: email@example.com
FITNESS AND BEAUTY Cotswold Leisure, Bourton on the Water: 01451 824024 Cotswold Leisure Bourton offers a range of facilities to suit all ages and abilities. W: www.cotswold.gov.uk
Cotswold Bookstore, Moreton in
Cotswold -Homes.com Cotswold Homes Directory of Independent Businesses Cotswold Leisure, Chipping Campden 01386 841595 Cotswold Leisure, Chipping Campden provides indoor sports, recreation and leisure opportunities for the north Cotswold area. W: http://cotswoldleisure.org/chipping-
campden E: chippingcampdensportscentre@ cotswold.gov.uk
Fusion Unisex Hair Salon Bourtonon-the-Water: 01451 810781 Fusion hair salon specialises in cuts, re-styles, colours, and special occasions. Open daily from 9am, conveniently located just off the High Street. W: www.cotswold-homes.com MODE Hair & M Spa at Lapstone, Chipping Campden: 01386 841123 MODE: award winning hair stylists with innovative techniques and products, MSPA: provides balancing transforming treatments enabling purification and relaxation. W: www.mspa.so E: firstname.lastname@example.org Personal Best Fitness Studio, Chipping Campden 01386 840437 A brand new studio in Chipping Campden offering everything from gym membership, personal training, sports and remedial massage and a whole range of classes! W: www.pbfitnessstudio.com E: email@example.com Rapid FX Personal Fitness, Draycott: 01386 701231 RapidFX personal training is dedicated to offering professional personal assistance to fitness and wellbeing within the North Cotswolds. W: www.rapid-fx.com E: firstname.lastname@example.org
FLORISTS Cotswold Flowers, Bourton on the Water: 01451 821306 Family run florist offering local, national and international delivery six days a week Wedding Florist, Funeral, Local Delivery, Hand Tied Bouquets W: www.cotswoldflowers.co.uk E: email@example.com
GIFT SHOPS Box of Delights – Bourton on the Water: 01451 822800 Box of Delights offers a range of beautiful contemporary gifts, greeting cards, Jewellery, home decorations. W: www.boxofdelights.biz E: firstname.lastname@example.org
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The Cedars – Bourton on the Water: 01451 822 399 The Cedars offers something for everyone, providing gift inspiration from unique colourful wall art and decorative tea light holders. W: www.cotswold-homes.com E: email@example.com
VISITING THE COTSWOLDS Where to stay, what to do, where to go? Go Stow, Stow on the Wold 01451 870 150 An independent Visitor Information Centre, with lots of experience and expertise to help you make the most of your visit to the Cotswolds W: www.go-stow.co.uk E: firstname.lastname@example.org
FAMILY DAYS OUT Cotswold Farm Park Guiting Power: 01451 850307 Cotswold Farm Park was the first Rare Breeds farm to open to the public. A total countryside experience in the heart of the Cotswolds W: cotswoldfarmpark.co.uk E: email@example.com
PUBS, TEA HOUSES AND COFFEE SHOPS Cacao Bean, Moreton in Marsh: 01608 652060 A Konditorei (German Pastry Shop) and Café that also provides celebration cakes made to order. Celebration cakes, Chocolates, Cakes, Truffles, Tarts, Fudge W: www.cacaobean.co.uk The Coach and Horses, Longborough: 01451 830325 A Cotswold village pub offering open fires, good food and award-winning Donnington ales brewed just a couple of miles away. E: firstname.lastname@example.org The Fox Inn, Great Barrington: 01451 844385 The Prettiest pub setting in the Cotswolds on the banks of the river Windrush - Bar Snack Menu, Riverside Dining, Traditional C17th Bar with local Ales, Ciders & Juices W: www.foxinnbarrington.com E: email@example.com
The Fox Inn, Broadwell: 01451 870909 The Fox is a friendly, family pub offering traditional pub food with beer garden, ideal for couples and families. E: firstname.lastname@example.org The Halfway House, Kineton: 01451 850344 The Half Way House is 17th Century Inn serving good traditional food, using local ingredients, and fine local ale. W: www.thehalfwayhousekineton.co.uk The Lamb Inn, Great Rissington: 01451 820388 The Lamb Inn at Great Rissington is one of the Cotswolds’ most welcoming country inns situated in a beautiful village with lovely views from the garden. W: www.thelambinn.com E: email@example.com The New Inn, Willersey: 01386 853226 The New Inn is a lovely pub with plenty to do and has a games room & skittle alley! Traditional village pub, Function room, Donnington Ales W: www.newinnbroadway.co.uk E: firstname.lastname@example.org The Plough Inn, Ford: 0800 066 3851 Sitting in the hamlet of Ford, this popular 16th Century Inn is renowned for its excellent menu and fine Donnington ales W: www.theploughinnford.co.uk E: email@example.com The Snowshill Arms, Snowshill: 01386 852653 A 13th Century pub, situated in the pretty, tranquil village of Snowshill - Beer garden, Function room, Donnington Ales, Children’s play area W: www.cotswold-homes.com Russells’s of Broadway, Broadway 01386 853555 Russell’s of Broadway brings something special to the Cotswolds area, a superb dining experience with seven tastefully appointed bedrooms. W: www.russellsofbroadway.co.uk E: firstname.lastname@example.org
HOTELS The Dial House Hotel & Restaurant Bourton on the Water: 01451 822244 The Dial House Hotel demonstrates the best blend of traditional and modern to bring you the ultimate country hotel experience. W: www.dialhousehotel.com E: email@example.com
The Grapevine Hotel, Stow-on-the-Wold Set in this historic market town, a 17th century hotel renowned for its warm hospitality and delicious food 01451 830344 W: www.thegrapevinehotel.com E: firstname.lastname@example.org Hyde Barn, Fosse Manor Hotel For Weddings and Events, a newly built bespoke barn, catering for up to 175 guests 01451 833 556 W: www.hydebarn.co.uk E: email@example.com Mill House Hotel, Kingham 01608 658188 The Mill House offers the highest standards of hospitality, luxury and service. W: www.millhousehotel.co.uk E: firstname.lastname@example.org Wyck Hill House Hotel & Spa, Stow on the Wold: 01451 831936 For somewhere to relax, to work, a place to celebrate or to combine all these things, Wyck Hill is the perfect venue. W: www.wyckhillhousehotel.co.uk E: sales.wyckhillhousebespokehotels.com Lower Slaughter Manor, Lower Slaughter: 01451 820456 The epitome of country house chic; romantic getaways, restful breaks, conferences, and weddings, with exquisite dining also available to non residents. W: www.lowerslaughter.co.uk E: email@example.com The Washbourne Court Hotel, Lower Slaughter: 01451 822 143 The 17th Century venue provides luxurious short breaks, conferences, and wedding receptions, catering for locals as well as guests. W: www.washbournecourt.co.uk E: firstname.lastname@example.org Buckland Manor, Nr Broadway: 01386 852 626 Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway, somewhere for a special event or celebration, or a quiet escape, Buckland Manor won’t disappoint. W: www.bucklandmanor.co.uk E: email@example.com Burford House Hotel A beautiful townhouse hotel rated AA 5 star with four poster beds and Wicked cream teas! 01993 823151 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.burford-house.co.uk
Cotswold Homes Winter Edition 2012